By Robert Wilson
Photos by Brandon Jackson
After Tuesday night’s “ugly win,” over Hartfield Academy when Madison-Ridgeland Academy pitchers walked 10 and hit three batters, coach Allen Pavatte was desperately looking for someone to throw strikes Wednesday night in Game 2 of the MAIS Class 6A best of three series.
He found one.
Junior right-hander Camp Segrest didn’t walk a batter and threw a four-hit shutout as MRA defeated Hartfield 10-0 in five innings to clinch the series and clinch a No. 2 seed and first-round bye in next week’s 6A playoffs.
MRA improved to 21-9 overall and 10-4 in league play. Hartfield dropped to 21-8 overall and 8-5 in league play. The teams play Game 3 Friday at 7 p.m. at MRA. While No. 2 seed MRA gets next week off, No. 3 seed Hartfield will play No. 6 seed Parklane next week in the first round. MRA plays the winner in two weeks in the semifinals.
Segrest had excellent command Wednesday night. He allowed four singles, one each in the first and second innings and two in the fifth inning. Segrest didn’t allow a runner to get to third base. He threw only 42 pitches, 32 strikes and stayed ahead of the count to the majority of the Hartfield hitters. Segrest improved to 3-0 and dropped his earned run average to 1.82. He has walked one batter and struck out 11 in his last 11 1/3 innings. Segrest got a win last week against Jackson Academy.
“Camp did an excellent job, he was point on on all three pitches,” MRA coach Allen Pavatte said. “Camp was very efficient. He might have had one three ball count all game. He also made some good defensive plays. He pitched really well against JA last week too. Camp has been used in relief all year and the last two weeks are his first starts this season. He pitched on the junior varsity team last year.”
MRA scored in every inning, one run each in the first and second, two each in the third and fourth and four in the fifth.
Junior center fielder Nicholas Arnold and junior designated hitter Corey Watkins had three hits each and senior first baseman and Ole Miss signee Jackson Evers and senior catcher Bennett Cloud had two hits each. Senior shortstop, Hinds Community College signee and leadoff hitter Kaleb Lipscomb got on base all four plate appearances, three walks and a single and scored twice.
“This was one of the most complete games we have played all season,” Pavatte said. “We did everything well tonight. We hit the ball well, had some timely two out hits, played well defensively (no errors and had a double play in the first inning), and pitched well.”
“MRA just played much better than us,” said second-year Hartfield coach Justin Smith, who was promoted to head coach when Chuck Box became director of player personnel at Texas A&M. “They were hot at the plate and made more competitive pitches on the mound.”