Against stiff, Class 6A competition, Hattiesburg ended its regular season with three straight losses. Against Wayne County Friday night, the Tigers turned the page and showed just what they’re capable of in their playoff opener—a 10-0 win in six innings against the War Eagles.
“At the end of the day, we’re a phenomenal team when we play together,” said Hattiesburg senior Joe Gray.
The Tigers took a 1-0 series lead with the win and will go for the sweep Saturday night at 7 pm in Waynesboro.
Like many nights this season, Dexter Jordan led the way in game one at Smokie Harrington Park. The Louisiana signee got the start on the mound and went the distance, striking out six War Eagle batters in his shutout, two-hit performance.
“He’s Dexter,” said Hattiesburg head coach Joe Hartfield. “He [Jordan] threw well tonight and threw a lot of strikes, obviously. He had one or two walks. He struggled with his curveball a little bit, which is very rare for him. But he was able to throw his changeup for a strike and move his fastball in and out.”
Jordan was just as big at the plate, as the senior turned in a 3-for-3, three RBI outing.
“Dex is unstoppable,” added Gray. “It’s an energy we love to have.”
Following a quick top of the first inning from Jordan, the Tigers jumped on top offensively with two early runs. The first came home via a Jordan sacrifice-fly and another when Gray came around to score on a fielder’s choice.
Hattiesburg added three more in the third and another five in the sixth to earn the 10-0, run-rule win. The game-winning run came home when Jaden Richardson drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Jay Reedy.
Aside from Jordan’s game-high three RBI, Jairus McFarland added two for the Tigers, who improved to 19-9 with the win, a much-needed one, according to Hartfield.
“We played some very good baseball teams the last week of the season. We didn’t play that well and had some things exposed that we needed to work on and have been working on and will continue to work on. But yeah, we needed this win. No doubt about it.”