The Wildcats won their fourth straight region championship by hammering the Yazoo County Panthers 16-3 in a Region 3-4A game that was cut short after six innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. The win was Cleveland’s 19th in a row as the team improved to 21-1 with a 9-0 mark in the region.
Cleveland has two more regular season games left as the team will close out is region schedule against Amanda Elzy in Greenwood on Friday and then will return home on Saturday to play Greenville West in a non-region game.
“We took care of our business, we finished first,” Cleveland High head baseball coach Steve Wies said. “We still have a little work to do to finish up with what we would consider a good season and where we expected to be which is perfect in the region by finishing out with Amanda Elzy and Greenville Weston. We want to finish out strong with them.”
Yazoo County hung close with Cleveland for most of the night. With the Wildcats leading 5-0, the Panthers plated three runs in the top of the fifth to pull to within two runs at 5-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats’ bats got hot as they scored 11 runs in the inning. Matt Ray stroked a grand slam home run to cap off the inning and seal up the victory for Cleveland.
Trace Bray earned the win on the mound as he gave up three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. Marshall Boggs picked up the save as he struck out two in a perfect inning of work.
Jared Hunt led the Wildcats at the plate with two hits, including a double with a RBI and two runs, followed by Ray with a grand slam home run and two runs scored, Boggs with a double, a RBI and a three runs, Bray with a hit, two RBIs and a run and Jordan Burchfield with a hit, a RBI and a run.