Photo/James Pugh

Hattiesburg took the unexpected route with its starting pitching Tuesday night, throwing most, if not all, of Trustmark Park for a loop. Rather than trotting out their number one starter in Dexter Jordan, the Tigers sent Landon Rascoe to the mound in clearly the biggest start and spot of his young career—Game 1 of the Class 5A State Championship. 

In what was his first-ever playoff start, the junior looked like a seasoned veteran, throwing four innings of one-hit ball. Behind Rascoe’s performance and early run support, Hattiesburg took game one, 9-5, and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. 

Click on the link below to see video highlights and hear from Hattiesburg head coach Joe Hartfield:

Lewisburg’s first hit of the game came off Rascoe in the fifth off a two-run double. 

Even with that breakthrough, the Patriots trailed by seven runs, 9-2, after the Tigers had distanced themselves with a three-run first and a trio of two-run innings. 

Kam Wells led Hattiesburg with 3 RBI in that span, while Dexter Jordan added 2 hits and 2 RBI. Letrelle Johnson, AJ Stinson and Cam Lott drove in a run apiece for the Tigers, who led 9-0 after four and a half innings of play. 

Lewisburg chipped away at the lead for the remainder of the contest, pulling to within four runs, 9-5, in the seventh inning. Needing just one out to secure the win, Hattiesburg turned to Jordan, their likely starter in Game 2, to finish the job. The Louisiana-Lafayette signee was up for the task and picked up a strikeout to end the game. 

The Tigers improved to 25-10 with the win and will go for the series sweep and a state championship Thursday afternoon in Game 2. First pitch is set for 1 pm at Trustmark Park.