BY THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
The Pine Bluff Braves fell one win shy of getting to play in the championship game of the National Semi-Pro Baseball Association World Series in Jackson, Miss.
The Braves shut out their opponents in their first two tournament games, but dropped their next two games.
In the first game, Pine Bluff defeated the Mississippi Stars 6-0. The Braves’ Michael Marsh threw a complete-game (seven innings) shutout. Marsh struck out 11 and gave up just two hits in the contest.
According to player/manager Winfred Smith, Pine Bluff picked up three runs in the first inning, one in the fourth and two in the sixth.
In their second game, Pine Bluff beat the Gulf Coast Reds 10-0 as the Braves’ Corey Thomas threw a perfect game, albeit a one-inning gem.
After Thomas struck out the side in the top of the first inning, the Braves sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the frame. All 10 batters scored and the Reds forfeited the game without recording an out.
The Braves finally ran into some stiff competition in their third game of the tournament as they fell to the Hattiesburg Black Sox 7-2.
The Black Sox scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning, but the Braves plated two in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit in half. Hattiesburg responded, though, with three runs in the bottom of the frame to set the final margin.
Following the loss, the Braves took on the Ohio Gamecocks with a spot in the tournament’s championship game on the line.
Pine Bluff took an early 1-0 lead as Corey McCoy came in to score on a hit by Chase Smith in the third inning.
The Braves maintained the advantage until the eight inning when the Gamecocks drove in three runs.
Pine Bluff was unable to respond in the ninth inning and fell to Ohio 3-1.