Olive Branch pushes Gators to the brink

Published 10:50 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

The Vicksburg Gators are down to their last chance to salvage the season.

Olive Branch jumped on the Gators for eight runs in the bottom of the first inning Friday, and went on to win 10-0 in Game 1 of a first-round MHSAA Class 5A baseball playoff series.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Saturday at 6 p.m. at Bazinsky Field. If Vicksburg (6-18) can win, it will force a decisive Game 3 Monday night at Olive Branch (12-16). The Gators, though, will need a much better start than they had in the opener.

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After going down in order in the top of the first inning, the Gators allowed five of the first six Olive Branch batters to reach base in the bottom half. Matthew Koch delivered a three-RBI double to drive in the first runs of the game, and later scored on a single by Landon Coke.

Four more runs scored on a pair of errors and a balk, leaving it at 8-0 after the first inning.

Vicksburg didn’t get a hit until Chris Farrish’s two-out single in the top of the fourth. Branden Humphrey followed with another single, but neither runner advanced beyond that. The Gators also left two runners on base in the fifth inning as the game ended via the mercy rule.

Caden Burse was 2-for-2 with one RBI for the Conquistadors.

Vicksburg’s Dylan Whitfield was effective in 3 1/3 innings of relief work. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits and three walks.

Game 1: Olive Branch 10, Vicksburg 0
Game 2: Saturday, 6 p.m., at Bazinsky Field
x-Game 3: Monday, 6 p.m., at Olive Branch
(Best-of-three series; x-if necessary)