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Ripley unable to slow down Sumrall offense in Game 2 loss

PEARL – Sumrall got the bats going early and often with its season on the line against Ripley on Thursday.

The Bobcats posted at least one run in each of the first four innings, and they evened up the MHSAA Class 4A finals with a 10-7 win at Trustmark Park. Game 3 is set to be played on Saturday.

“That’s a big win,” Sumrall head coach Andy Davis said. “Any time you can grab a win at Trustmark's huge. (Ripley is) a great team, and I’m proud of our guys’ comeback and didn’t roll over.”

Sumrall jumped out to a 7-0 lead through an inning and-a-half, and Cade Clinton played a pivotal role. With two runners on base in the first, Clinton drove in both with a single as part of a four-run first inning for the Bobcats. Clinton struck again in the second by batting in two more runs.

“Everybody in the lineup hit good today,” Clinton said. “That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to pass the sticks to everybody. Everybody in our lineup can hit. We didn’t show it the first game, we showed it this game.”

Despite the early hole, Ripley did its best to get back in the game. The Tigers trailed by six entering the bottom of the fourth and loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored a run before Cooper Davis emptied the bases with a two-RBI single to trim the deficit to three.

“We fought back, but we didn’t show up ready to play at the beginning,” Ripley head coach Joel Gafford said. “A bunt that we threw away, can’t get our breaking ball to land, we drop a pop-up in right, don’t block a ball and give them four runs. That changes the whole complexion of the game because we’re not ready to play.”

But that’s as close as the Tigers would get, as they couldn’t keep up with a white-hot Bobcats offense that posted 10 runs on 15 hits two days after striking out 18 times.

“Any time you can score first, it’s big,” Davis said. “Gives you the momentum, especially against a good team. That made us feel a little better and a little more relaxed.”

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Sumrall posted four runs in the first inning to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

Big Stat: Sumrall racked up 15 hits.

Coach Speak: “That’s what he does. He bats three-hole, he’s got a power bat. Struck out a few times there, but he did damage early. And that was good.” – Davis, on Clinton