Sting fast and hard: SHS puts up 11 early runs, cruises to win

Jack Perry runs the bases for Starkville High School
Staff Writer


A huge number was desired. A huge number was accomplished.
When it came to Friday night's first round Class 6A playoff game against the Murrah Mustangs, the Starkville Yellowjackets didn't just want to put up one or two runs in the first inning.
Starkville wanted to put the game away early and it did.
The Jackets hit the Mustangs with 11 first-inning runs and went on to a 15-0 victory in four innings at Yellowjacket Stadium/Carlisle FIeld.
"We jumped on them quick just like coach (Travis Garner) wanted us to and didn't give up," Starkville's Carter Bentley said.
Garner knew it was important to get as many runs as necessary to let the wind out of Murrah's sails early.
He didn't want the Mustangs to feel like they had any hope early in the game.
"We've been in that situations many times this year and instead of putting up a huge number, we've put up two," Garner said. "They didn't play well and dropped their heads after we put the big number up. If they get out of there with two, it's a different game because as you saw, they've got some players and have some players who really swing the bat well."
One of those Murrah players capable of playing well is Jayden Cowans. Even though Cowans had a pair of hits, he was not able to cross the plate.
Garner said Cowans is dangerous when he gets on the bases and felt the Jackets controlled him for the most part.
"The kid has got 50 stolen bases," Garner said of Cowans. "We tried to put the clamps on him. He got on base twice. He stole one and we got him out one."
Instead of Cowans being a leadoff man to give his team runs, it was Bentley doing it for Starkville.
Bentley had two singles, reached base three times and scored a pair of runs.
"I just like to help the team out, take some good at-bats and help any way I can," Bentley said. "I love the game."
Along with Bentley's two hits, Dee Petty, Jack Perry, Jaden James, C.J. Kemp and Carter Hunt had one hit each for the Jackets.
Bentley, Petty and Perry had back-to-back-to-back singles to lead off the first to help SHS get off to its fast start. The Jackets added two runs in the third and two more in the fourth to force the 15-run rule.
The offensive production was more than enough for pitcher Austin Campbell, who worked a four-inning four-hitter with five strikeouts and no walks.
Starkville and Murrah will play the second game of the series today in Jackson at Smith-Wills Stadium.
Garner knows that the Jackets (15-12) have to come out with the same mentality for the 12:30 p.m. start that they did on Friday.
"We've got to do it again (today)," Garner said. "They will play better at their place and we'll have to deal with getting on a bus and traveling to Jackson. We've got to not be sluggish and ready to roll.