Kyle Booker

Kyle Booker of DeSoto Central readies for a pitch during the Jaguars' North Half Championship series victory in Southaven on Monday, May 13. Booker and the Jaguars Wednesday night, May 15, took a 1-0 lead in the state 6A championship final series with a 3-1 win over St. Martin (Ocean Springs). 

DeSoto Central's baseball team is one win away from its second-straight state championship, after stopping St. Martin of Ocean Springs 3-1 Wednesday night in Pearl.

The Jaguars, 33-3, took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three MHSAA 6A state championship series with game two scheduled for Friday afternoon, 4 p.m., at Trustmark Park.

If St. Martin wins on Friday, a Saturday contest to determine the state champion takes place Saturday at a time to be determined, depending on what remaining game threes there may be.

The Yellow Jackets took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Jaguars answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. DeSoto Central would get the insurance run in the sixth inning, then clipped the Jackets' wings from getting back on the scoreboard in the seventh.

Winning pitcher Cade Smith of DeSoto Central struck out 10 and allowed two hits in the complete-game victory. The Jaguars offense reached base with seven hits, led by Dylan Hale with two hits and two RBIs.

SPORTS ETC.: Former DeSoto Central standout Austin Riley homered in his second Major League Baseball at bat Wednesday night for the Atlanta Braves. The solo homer for Riley came in the Braves' 4-0 defeat of the St. Louis Cardinals in Atlanta. Riley was called up to the big club earlier Wednesday night from Gwinnett, where he led the AAA-level International League with 15 homers and 39 runs-batted-in.

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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