PCA, St. Al eliminated from playoff races

Published 11:37 pm Friday, April 21, 2017

Porters Chapel Academy picked itself off the mat to get back into the District 5-AA playoff race, but finally fell down for good at the last moment.

PCA scored three runs in the seventh inning and got the tying run to the plate Friday against first-place Amite School Center, but couldn’t push it across and lost 7-5 in a game it needed to win to stay alive for a postseason berth.

The Eagles (13-14, 5-4 District 5-AA) had won five consecutive district games after losing its first three, and needed to sweep the season series with Amite to gain the No. 2 seed from the District 5-AA in the MAIS Class AA playoffs.

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Franklin Academy claimed the No. 2 seed while Amite is the district champion.

“I’m proud of the fight that we showed from the beginning to now. Even tonight,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said. “We could have easily laid down and quit, but we stayed the course and gave ourselves a chance. We just put ourselves in too big a hole those first three games to overcome.”

Ryan Collins and Brayden Ray drove in two runs apiece for PCA. Cole Pittman had two hits and Garrett Hutchins hit a double.

Porters Chapel will finish the season Monday at home at 4 p.m., when it plays Amite in the second half of the home-and-home series. The game was rescheduled after a rainout last week.

St. Al eliminated
from playoff race

The last piece of St. Aloysius’ playoff puzzle refused to fall into place Friday.
Manchester Academy swept a doubleheader against Hartfield Academy, winning 9-5 and 11-4, to secure the

No. 2 seed from District 3-AAA in the MAIS Class AAA playoffs and eliminate St. Al from contention.
St. Al finished with an 18-7 overall record, and was 8-7 within the district after finishing the season with a doubleheader sweep of Park Place on Thursday. The Flashes, however, also needed Riverfield (7-8 in district play) to lose twice to Central Hinds — which it did — and Hartfield (10-13, 6-9 District 3-AAA) to win at least one of the two games Friday against Manchester (16-8, 9-6), which it did not.

The sweep allowed Manchester to come out on top in the wild four-way race for the final playoff spot. The Mavericks will face Columbia Academy in a first-round series beginning Tuesday.

Central Hinds (27-5, 15-0) easily won the District 3-AAA championship and earned a first-round bye. It will await the winner of a first-round series between Simpson Academy and Heritage Academy.