16 May

a full day

While the debut — OK, the smashing debut — of Austin Riley in Atlanta was a compelling event on Wednesday, there was some other significant stuff going on closer to home. At Trustmark Park in Pearl, DeSoto Central High — Riley’s alma mater — beat St. Martin 3-1 in the first game of the MHSAA Class 6A championship series. West Jones beat Lafayette 10-1 in 5A, North Pontotoc beat Magee 12-2 in 3A and Taylorsville beat Calhoun City 8-1 in 2A. In Fulton, No. 2-ranked Itawamba Community College scrambled past Mississippi Gulf Coast 8-7 in the NJCAA Division II Region 23 Tournament. ICC’s Jackson Lancaster got the win in relief and also had a homer among his three hits. With the win, ICC (40-6-1) moves into a winner’s bracket showdown today with No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunice (49-6), which beat Northwest in its opener. Pearl River knocked off Jones, sending the Bobcats into an elimination game against Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, Jackson State lost to Texas Southern and Alcorn State fell to Grambling in the first round of the SWAC Tournament. JSU (30-23), which entered the tourney on something of a nice roll, now faces elimination today against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Alcorn (14-30) plays a loser’s bracket game today against Prairie View. At Cleveland today, Delta State plays Embry-Riddle in the first round of the NCAA Division II regionals. P.S. For the record, by homering in his Atlanta rookie debut, Riley joins a list that includes Bob Horner, Marty Malloy, Jermaine Dye, Jeff Francoeur, Jordan Schafer, Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis. Like Riley, Francoeur, Schafer, Heyward and Gattis are Mississippi Braves alumni.

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