The Morgan County High School baseball team concluded the regular season as the number three seed in the region and traveled to Forsyth on Friday to take on the Bulldogs of Mary Persons in the first round of the 2022 GHSA state tournament.

Entering the game, Mary Persons had only lost four games, one of which was at the hand of the Bulldogs in February. Jack Harper had himself a great night with three home runs, a triple, and four walks with nine RBIs over the course of two games.

In game one Friday night, Harper got the Dogs on the board early with a two run moonshot to right field, scoring Ben Coody. Mary Persons used a double and a single in the first to cut the lead in half. MCHS added another run in the top of the second after an error and a walk but two Dogs on base and a Zach Moore sacrifice grounder scored Tripp Lancaster in the second.

In the third inning, Ethan Mizell hit a hard ground ball up the middle that scored Coody (walk) and Harper (hit by pitch). Mary Persons again answered with a double and a single to add a run and after three the Dogs of Madison were up 5-2.

Then in the fourth inning, Coody walked again and Harper hit a “no doubter” home run to right field. After David Denton was hit by a pitch and Mizell hit another single, Tripp Lancaster hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Talan Fuller, who was courtesy running for Denton the catcher. At the end of four, the Dogs were up 8-1.

Mary Persons added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning but in the top of the seventh MCHS adds a pair after Zach Moore doubles to score Conway then TJ Moore singles to Zach Moore. In the bottom of the seventh Mary Persons adds one run and the final score as MCHS took game one of the series 10-4.

In game one, MCHS had 10 runs on 10 hits. Harper led the way with two home runs and four RBIs. Sam Schofield was solid on the mound, throwing seven strong innings, striking out six, and walking four.

Game two saw the Bulldogs blow the doors off Mary Persons. The Dogs scored 17 runs on 12 hits over four innings. MCHS was the home team in game two of the series.

Bryce Bragg threw a three up, three down top half of the first. Then the MCHS offense capitalized on a pair of Mary Persons errors to load the bases with no outs when David Denton roped a single to right field to score TJ Moore. Ethan Mizell followed with a two RBI double to left then Conway did the same making the score 5-0 before the second out of the inning. Then Conway scored after a MPHS error making the score 6-0 at the end of the first inning.

The Dogs didn’t take long to get back at it in the second. Coody singled to open the inning then Mary Persons was a little too careful with Jack Harper and walked him. Two batters later Ethan Mizell hit a single to right but it was misplayed by Mary Persons and Ben Coody came around to score. A Tripp Lancaster single scored Mizell then Zach Moore drove in Lancaster with a single to make the score 10-0. Two batters later, Coody singled to score Conway and Stephens, courtesy runner for Talan Fuller. Jack Harper cleared the bases with a triple to make the score 14-0 at the end of the second inning.

There was nothing doing for either team in the third inning. Due to the GHSA run rule, MCHS needed one run to seal the game and series. In the bottom of the fourth inning, TJ Moore walked to lead off. Then Ben Coody singled. Then Jack Harper took a 3-1 count to right field to slam the door on Mary Persons' season as MCHS took the 17-0 win on the road.

Ben Coody led the way at the plate with a trio of hits and a pair of RBIs. Jack Harper had a pair of hits, none bigger than the three run blast to end the series, and a pair of walks. Brendan Conway also had a pair of hits as the Dogs scattered 12 hits over four innings and only one MCHS batsman struck out.

MCHS moves to the Sweet 16 round of the GHSA tournament. They travel to Carnesville to face former region for Franklin County on Wednesday for a double header and Thursday if game three is needed.


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