Neighboring Nanih Waiya starts Class A series strong

Staff Writer

Baseball season ended for Starkville Daily News area teams with East Webster’s game-three loss in the Class 2A North State championship, but one familiar team close by is still competing.

In nearby Winston county, Nanih Waiya is working for a second-straight state championship and it got off to a good start on Tuesday afternoon with a game one win. The Warriors are facing off with Smithville in back-to-back seasons in the Class A State title series and used two big innings in game one at Trustmark Park for a 13-5 victory.

Runs came in bunches in the fourth and the sixth innings to do much of the damage as the dangerous  Nanih Waiya lineup was too much for the Seminoles to overcome. The Warriors (28-2) are batting over .430 as a team and looked the part.

As both pitching staffs worked through the first three innings relatively unscathed, Nanih Waiya exploded in the fourth. Leading 1-0, they scored a run in the inning and had two on base with two outs when Roper Ball brought home two runs. The Warriors tallied five runs total with two down and jumped out to a comfortable 7-0 lead.

Nanih Waiya pitcher Jake Kight finally got into trouble in the fifth when he had the bases loaded and no outs with two runs already in from Jared Johnson’s two-run double. Relief pitcher Gabe Sciple gave up three more runs to get those three outs but kept the 7-5 lead.

With the game suddenly close, the Warriors broke it open one final time. They got all five of those runs back immediately to push the lead back to eight runs. They added another run in the seventh and Sciple pitched without any trouble the rest of the way.

Nanih Waiya pounded out 14 hits in the win and had five players register multiple base knocks in the victory. Bryce Stanton led the way with his three-hit game with two RBI. Ball was 2-for-4 and drove in a game-high four runs, Coley Taylor had two hits with two RBI and Kight was also 2-for-4 with a run driven in and a double.

Kight threw four innings, gave up seven hits and five runs with five strikeouts. Sciple earned the win with three innings, two hits and three strikeouts.

The two teams meet again on Friday at Trustmark Park at 1 p.m. With a win, the Warriors would claim their fourth state title.