By Robert Wilson
Photos By Chris Todd
Madison Central senior right-hander and Stanford signee Braden Montgomery showed once again Monday night why he is an All-American and projected as a possible first-round Major League Draft pick in Game 1 of the best of three series in the MHSAA Class 6A semifinals.
Montgomery threw a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts and hit a home run to lead No. 1 nationally ranked Madison Central to a 2-0 victory over Tupelo in Madison.
Madison Central, 31-2, and Tupelo, 27-9, meet in Game 2 Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Tupelo. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Madison.
Senior outfielder Connor Nation hit a solo home run to right field with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to give Madison Central a 1-0 lead. Montgomery hit his solo home run to left center field with no out in the sixth inning for a 2-0 lead.
Montgomery, who improved to 9-0, had his most trouble from Tupelo in the second inning when Tupelo loaded the bases with one out, but Montgomery got two strikeouts to end the threat.
Tupelo senior left-hander and Ole Miss signee Hunter Elliott suffered his first loss of the season after 10 victories. He had 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“Braden was electric,” Madison Central coach Patrick Robey said. “It took him a couple of innings to gain command of his secondary stuff. We knew runs would be a premium off of Elliott. He is really good. I felt like we put some good at bats together and hit some balls hard right at them at times. It was a great high school game.”