Photos by Chris Todd and Robert Smith
Story by Robert Wilson

Senior right-hander and Ole Miss signee Riley Maddox threw a one-hitter with seven strikeouts and hit a home run to lead three-time defending MAIS state champion Jackson Prep to a 3-0 victory over Madison-Ridgeland Academy Wednesday night in Game 1 of the best-of-three series for the MAIS Class 5A state championship at Prep in Flowood.

Prep improved to 33-3 and won its 13th consecutive game and haven’t lost since a 3-1 decision to MRA on April 2. MRA dropped to 27-10. The game was moved from MRA to Prep because MRA’s field was still wet from rain. Game 2 is scheduled for today at 5 p.m. at Prep with Game 2, if necessary, to follow.

Maddox, 11-0, allowed just a single to MRA senior outfielder and Mississippi State signee Bryce Chance. MRA senior right-hander and Southern Miss signee Niko Mazza allowed five hits – including Maddox’s 11th home run this season in the fifth inning – with nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Prep also scored on sophomore outfielder and MSU commitment Rives Reynolds’ sacrifice fly in the fifth and junior outfielder Cy Craig’s run-scoring single in the seventh.

“I thought tonight was great baseball on both sides with a great pitching duel,” Prep coach Brent Heavener said. “I thought Riley really had his stuff working and he helped himself with a big home run. Owen Abney made some huge plays on defense at third base to really keep us in the game. I just thought Riley showed why he is one of the best players in the state.”

“I thought both pitchers tonight pitched really well,” MRA coach Allen Pavette said. “Riley Maddox did a great job keeping us off balance and had two impact hits in the game. Prep third baseman Abney made some really great plays. They did a good job of executing and we did not. I thought Niko pitched really well also.”