SHS routs Murrah in baseball to advance

Starkville's Austin Campbell
Staff Writer

Coach Travis Garner and his team left Jackson last Saturday completely stunned.
The Starkville Yellowjackets had blown an 11-2 lead in the sixth inning against Murrah in first round playoff action and lost on a walk off hit that set up a decisive game three.
Garner didn’t know what to expect out of his young team on Monday, but he found out early.
Austin Campbell threw a three-inning no-hitter and the Yellowjackets left no doubt that they were the better team this time as they destroyed the Mustangs with a 24-0, three-inning blowout at Carlisle Stadium/Yellowjacket Field.
“We got our guts ripped out up in Jackson,” Garner said. “We were four outs away from advancing in their park and the wheels fell off. You didn’t know how those kids would respond and to see them respond like that was huge and says a lot about those kids.”
The game was virtually over for the Mustangs before they even registered an out.
After Campbell threw a perfect top of the inning, the Starkville offense sent the first 20 players to the plate without an out even being recorded and it was 21-0. SHS batted through the order twice before the first out.
In the inning, there were 11 hits, six walks, three errors and 25 total batters. C.J. Kemp went 3-for-3 with four RBI and his three-run double was the biggest hit of the first frame.
SHS (16-13) put up three more runs in the second inning on an error. Kemp added his fourth hit in two innings on an RBI single and it was 24-0. Campbell did the rest of the work having just a one-out error on his defense in the third as the only blemish on the game.
The pitcher threw all three innings with no hits, no runs, and no walks. He struck out one batter.
“Campbell has won a playoff game as a freshman, as a sophomore and as a junior," Garner said. "When he goes to the bump, we feel like the Yankees. He’s been a bulldog for us. What can you say?”
Kemp was 4-for-4 in the abbreviated game knocking in a game-high five RBI. Carter Bentley and Jack Perry each had a hit with two RBI and two walks.
“I was just trying to do what I could to help the team,” Kemp said. “All four times there were runners on the base and I was trying to do my job. The ball flew well for me.”
Dee Petty went 2-for-3 for the evening with two walks and four runs. His teammates especially were happy for the talented infielder, who suffered a tragic loss of his aunt on Monday. The team wasn’t sure that Petty would even play on Monday, but they played for him and he played for her.
The Jackets now move to round two of the playoffs for the second-straight season and they’re playing hot at the right time. Winners of 11 of its last 13 games, Garner likes where his team is.
The Yellowjackets will play a best-of-three series with DeSoto Central starting Friday and they are coming off of a series win against DCHS just last season.
“DeSoto is really good," Garner said. "We had a battle with them last year and they’ve got a lot of those guys back while a lot of mine are playing college baseball. We’re the underdog going up there, but we seem to play well in the underdog role.”