Tallulah Academy clinches spot in MAIS Class 3A baseball finals

Published 9:36 pm Saturday, May 13, 2023

It took Tallulah Academy 50 years to win a baseball state championship. It only took two to get a chance at a second one.

Hayes Hopkins drove in three runs and pitched 5 1/3 strong innings, Wyatt Bedgood was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Tallulah Academy rode a hot start to a 7-5 victory against Prairie View Academy in Game 3 of their MAIS Class 3A semifinal series on Saturday night.

Tallulah Academy (24-6), which won the Class 1A championship in 2021, advanced to the state finals for the second time in three seasons. It will play Manchester Academy beginning XXX.

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The Trojans scored all of their runs in the first three innings Saturday and then held on as Prairie View (24-6) mounted its comeback.

Bedgood and Hopkins hit RBI singles in the second inning. In the third, Bedgood and Cade Morgan each hit an RBI single and Landry Tweedle an RBI double as Tallulah raced to a 7-1 lead.

Prairie View chipped away at the huge deficit, though. Will Waggoner hit an RBI single and scored on an error in the fourth inning, and in the sixth Sully Edwards hit an RBI double and scored on another error to cut it to 7-5.

Prairie View closed in again in its last at-bat. Waggoner hit a one-out double to bring the tying run to the plate, but Tallulah pitcher J.T. McDaniel got a ground out and struck out Landyn Deville to finish the game and send the Trojans to the state finals.

McDaniel pitched the final 1 2/3 innings scoreless to earn the save. Hopkins went the first 5 1/3 and struck out six batters to get the win.

Waggoner was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Prairie View.