POPLARVILLE – Falling behind 3-0, Team McCarty came away with a 4-3 comeback win by scoring four runs in the game’s final three innings.
Despite only recording three hits, Team McCarty’s late pitching persevered over Team Floyd.
“You don’t see that every day, but that’s baseball,” Team McCarty head coach Kirk McCarty said. “There are plenty of games where you get 10 hits and score one.”
Team McCarty’s starting pitcher Tyler Spring (Southern Miss) struggled early on and allowed all three runs to score off three hits. Spring gave up two RBI singles in the first inning and later gave up another RBI single in the third to give Team Floyd a 3-0 lead.
For Team Floyd, starting pitcher Karsten Knobles (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) threw three scoreless innings while recording three strikeouts to start the game.
However, Team McCarty (2-1-1) relievers Hunter Stanley (Southern Miss) and Eric Newsome (Pearl River CC) held Team Floyd hitless, which helped shift momentum.
A pair of errors by Team Floyd (1-2-1) scored a run in the fifth inning for Team McCarty. From there, Team Floyd reliever Hayden Robb (MGCCC) fell into trouble in the sixth inning. With one out, Robb gave up back-to-back walks and then committed an infield error to make the game 3-2. Colson Harris (Jones CC) tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
Closing the game for Team McCarty was Presbyterian Christian School alum JR Gunn (Hinds CC), who looked to keep the game tied at 3-3. According to Gunn, the situation was a perfect experience for his future collegiate career.
“Coming into the college level, that is going to be my job now,” Gunn said. “Getting used to it as a closer throwing from the side is something you have to get used too. It’s not something I had to do through high school. It’s not much pressure for me. I was keeping the fastball moving and attacking (the strike zone).”
Despite giving up a leadoff walk, Gunn retired Team Floyd in order, which gave his team a chance to come away with a walk-off win.
Notably, Gunn earned helped from Sumrall alum Bill Garrity (Southern Miss), who saved a run by throwing out a runner at third base.
“They had a chance to score,” McCarty said. “That’s one the spot you can put a ball and score from first base. They had a chance to do it. He made a good mature throw.”
Team Floyd’s pitcher Purvis alum Dakota Lee (PRCC) loaded the bases to start the inning at the bottom of the seven inning. Alden Davis (South Alabama), who entered the at-bat 0-for-2, battled a nine-pitch at-bat before drawing the game-winning run.
“It always feels good to win a game for your team,” Davis said. “At first, I was thinking I’m going to try and hit the ball to the fence and try to end it with one big swing. I went to swing at one pitch, and it felt like I almost pulled a muscle in my back, so I knew he wasn’t going to feed it to me down the middle, so I was going to take the pitches instead. Sure enough, he threw one up, and I got the walk.
“That’s a big-time rep for me. Pressure situations are always good to get those opportunities.”
Leading Team McCarty’s offense was Jesse Boydstan (East Central CC), who was 1-for-2 with an RBI. On the mound, relievers Stanley, Newsome and Gunn combined allowed no hits, struck out a batter and allowed two walks.
“They are guys that know how to compete,” McCarty said. “(Team Floyd’s) starter threw us off balance, and he threw the ball well. We just found a way to score. We caught a break with the error at second base, and we have guys who can run. We stuck to the plan and kept swinging.”