Oxford baseball edges Southaven to earn first playoff win in Class 6A

Published 10:48 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

The chase for a fourth straight state championship series appearance in as many years began in earnest for Oxford on Friday. The journey got off on the right foot with the Chargers winning their first postseason game in Class 6A with a 3-2 win over Southaven at Edwin Moak Field.

The Chargers (20-8) took Game 1 in the second round best-of-3 series and have the chance to sweep Southaven on Saturday night for Game 2 at Southaven High School.

“We play well at home,” Oxford coach Chris Baughman said. “We always have. We’re comfortable here. It’s big (winning Game 1).”

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Parker Stinnett got the start for Oxford and pitched a complete game. Stinnett gave up two runs – one earned – off three hits. He walked two and struck out 12 Southaven batters.

Stinnett worked around trouble all night but Southaven (22-6) managed to push a run across in the third inning to tie the game at 1-all and then another run in the sixth to tie it up once again.

“(Stinnett) executed the game plan,” Baughman said. “I don’t spend a whole lot of time talking to pitchers about the game plan that we try to come up with. I don’t want them thinking a lot. …I just want them to pitch. He was great.”

Oxford grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning off a sacrifice-fly by Clark Stovall. Stovall came through later with a inside the park home run off a Southaven error, giving Oxford the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Stovall finished the night 2-for-2 and an RBI. Sam Bianco and Tyler Smith each went 1-for-3.

The win did not come without some obstacles put in Oxford’s way by their own doing. The Chargers recorded three errors, two of them coming from errant throws by Smith at third base.

Smith was at third base due to a change in the field and on the batting lineup with John Reece McClure serving his second of a two-game suspension. McClure will be available for Saturday’s game.

“Parker did a great job scattering those first two errors and leaving those guys on base and minimizing the damage with all three errors,” Baughman said. “It’s frustrating, don’t get me wrong. …we are who we are and as long as we find a way to make up for the mistakes and pick each other up it’s fine.”