Jackets open playoffs with Mustangs

Starkville baseball coach Travis Garner
By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

It has been five days since the Starkville Yellowjackets have played a baseball game.
The Jackets defeated Louisville last Saturday 11-8 and have not played since.
When Starkville begins the Class 6A playoffs against Murrah Friday at Yellowjacket FIeld/Carlisle Stadium, coach Travis Garner hopes his club will be sharp.
Garner said it has been a good week for the Jackets and believes the time was good for them.
"To play as much as we played, I guess it's a good thing and a bad thing," Garner said. "Hopefully we won't be too rusty coming out. I think it was good for our kids to have a couple of days off and then three days of practice. Hopefully, we'll be ready to roll."
There haven't been many teams hotter than SHS over the past several weeks.
After a 13-6 loss to Lake, the Jackets saw their overall record slip to 5-11. Since then, Starkville has won nine out of 10 game with a forfeit mixed in and bring a mark of 14-12 into the postseason.
The Jackets clinched second place in Class 6A, Region 3 with a record of 4-5 after a 3-2 victory over Northwest Rankin and a forfeit by Callaway.
This is the third-straight year for Garner's program to make the playoffs. Last season, Starkville won the first round over DeSoto Central to advance.
"We should be battle tested and ready to go," Garner said.
Garner wants to make sure nobody goes to sleep on this weekend's opponent.
Murrah's Mustangs may only be 10-11 overall, but Garner believes they are capable of playing good baseball.
"People don't need to get carried away with a name," Garner said. "They are a good ball club. They've got three kids that are really good baseball players. The leadoff kid is hitting .525 with 46 stolen bases. He's as good as it gets.
"They are a really, really athletic bunch. Everything you see on paper is they are solid and we're going to have to come out ready to play."
After Friday night's 6 p.m. start in Starkville, the series shifts to Jackson's Smith-Wills Stadium on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The third game if necessary returns to SHS on Monday at 6 p.m.

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