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Landon Scruggs pitches Center Hill past Clinton 3-2 as Mustangs punch ticket to 6A Second Round

The Mustangs scored three runs in the first and survived a late rally from the home-standing Arrows

CLINTON — All it took was one big inning, and Center Hill is moving on to the second round.

The Mustangs scored all three runs in the top of the first inning and held on from there as they defeated Clinton 3-2 in the decisive Game 3 of their First Round MHSAA Class 6A Baseball Playoff series.

Center Hill (12-16) advances to face Oxford in the Second Round of the Class 6A playoffs beginning on Friday.

MORE: Complete MHSAA 6A Baseball Playoff Bracket

“Came out in the first swinging the bats well and put up three runs and made great plays defensively throughout the game,” said Center Hill coach Peyton Callahan. “Landon (Scruggs) threw well for us the whole game and proud of the guys for how they competed for all seven innings.”

The Mustangs got three runs on six hits in the top of the first inning. Hunter Peeks and Scott Green had back-to-back singles to center to give Center Hill a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Logan Esfeld smacked a single left to give Center Hill the 3-0 lead.

Clinton’s only runs came in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run to right by Grant Holmes to cut the Center Hill lead to 3-2.

“We had a good approach at the plate throughout the game and hit the ball hard and some fell for us,” Callahan said. “Not a lot of people outside of us gave us a chance, but I’m super proud of the guys and super excited to play Oxford this weekend.”

East Mississippi CC signee Landon Scruggs (2-5) tossed a complete game on the mound scattering three hits, two earned runs, walked three and had four strikeouts.

“Big confidence boost for me going out with the lead," Scruggs said. "My slider was my go to pitch going down hill and that was key for me. We put up three in the first and that obviously really helped us. Glad we are moving onto Oxford, we need to have better approaches at the plate.”

Tytrez Carr (3-3) took the loss on the mound for Clinton. The Arrows (15-11) only managed three hits the entire game.

“Tip your hat to them, they showed up ready to play and got six hits and scored three runs in the first inning and we seemed to not find an answer to stop them,” said Clinton coach Sam Temple. “Their pitcher did a really good job and we could never get enough guys on base to try to get things going.”