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Despite being no-hit, Oxford shows signs of optimism against DeSoto Central

SOUTHAVEN – Game one of the playoff quarterfinals wasn’t a win for Oxford – in fact, they got no hit, failing to put up a run. However, there were some positives to draw on moving forward in the series.

Oxford lost to DeSoto Central 4-0 on Thursday night. They’ll now need to win back-to-back games against the top-seed in the 6A playoffs to advance. But considering the way the first meeting between these two teams went, with DeSoto Central winning 18-0, Thursday night showed the Oxford team they can play with the best team in the state.

“They came into the game tonight thinking they can play with them,” said head coach Chris Baughman. “The first game was the first game. They’re going to do that to people because they’re that good. We just have to swing it better tomorrow night.

Against likely the most talented lineup in the state, Oxford sophomore Hays Roth did a really good job holding them in check in the opening game. After getting an out in the bottom of the first, Roth gave up a home run to the Jaguars Blaze Jordan; however, he didn’t let it get to him as many young pitchers would. After allowing two runs in the opening frame, Roth held DeSoto Central scoreless the next three innings.

“Hays was frustrated tonight because he didn’t feel like he was throwing well,” Baughman said. “I went out there and told him, ‘No. Tonight they’re making you pitch.’ He learned to pitch tonight. Tonight he had to keep them off balance and it kept us in the ballgame.”

The Jaguars tacked on two more runs, going up 4-0 in the fifth, however only one run would be earned. Roth would finish the game, striking out seven and picking off a DeSoto Central baserunner.

Where the performance on the mound was an encouraging sign, the Oxford bats need to be better in game two for them to have a chance against the Jaguars.

DeSoto Central starting pitcher Cade Smith was really on his game tonight. Smith no-hit Oxford in the series opener. His fastball touched 90-miles an hour and he struck out eight Oxford batters.

“He attacked us. He got ahead with a fastball and attacked us,” Baughman said. “He threw his slider when he needed to and his slider is really good.”

Game two is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. at Edwin Moak Field.