Purvis opened the Class 4A baseball playoffs Thursday night with what appeared to be a convincing, 9-1 win over McComb. From the outside looking in, it was a nice start to the Tornado’s pursuit of a state championship. To Purvis head coach Tony Farlow though, it was as close to a loss as a blowout win could be. 

For nearly 10 minutes after game one of the best-of-three series, the Tornadoes ran back-and-forth in the outfield as Farlow watched on. 

“I just told them basically that they played like garbage, we looked like garbage and we practiced like garbage this week,” Farlow said. “If we continue that, our season will be winding down pretty soon.”

Pitching was not a glaring issue for Purvis. The team’s starter, Dakota Lee, turned in one of his best performances of the season. The sophomore gave up just one hit in six innings of work, striking out 12 McComb batters. Mason Dilmore entered in the seventh with the Tornadoes up 9-0 and pitched himself into a bases loaded situation. After walking home McComb’s only run of the game, Dilmore answered by striking out the side to end the game. 

“We pitched ok. But to be honest with you, I didn’t think we got a lot of pitches to hit,” Farlow said. “That’s one reason we probably didn’t hit the ball as well as we have lately.”

The Tornadoes finished with seven hits in the game. A game-high three came from Casey Burge, and another two were off the bat of Trenton Flatt, who plated Purvis’ first two runs on a single in the second inning. Flatt and Parker Sharff each finished with two RBI apiece for the Tornadoes. 

A four-run second inning and a three-run sixth keyed Purvis’ eight-run win. Still, Farlow was far from satisfied.

“I know it’s hard to play every game. A lot of times, you don’t take teams serious, and it takes you a while to wake up. I felt like tonight would be one of those cases. I just didn’t know it would take us as long as it did to wake up. I don’t know if we ever woke up tonight.”

Purvis (20-3) will go for the series sweep tomorrow night at 6 pm in McComb. The Tornadoes are expected to start Jesse Johnson (6-0) on the mound.