The Mitchell ReportSo, that headline is probably an understatement.
It never occurred to me that every team would be knocked out of the playoffs in one weekend. At the least, I expected the Manchester baseball team to win one series.
So, as I sit at my desk writing this Monday afternoon, I’m still in shock at how my quickly my scheduled cleared up. And, no, that’s not what I want.
The big question I found myself asking, and a question I’m sure many of you have pondered, was what went wrong?
Before Thursday I was trying convince myself that everyone would win their series (sorry, but I failed at that). Two days later the thought of not having anymore baseball or softball this year began to creep in my head. By Saturday, around 1:30 p.m., I pretty much knew that would be the case.
So, what went wrong?
Well, for starters, most of the teams played against teams that were better, to put it simply. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t win, though. I picked Benton and the Yazoo County softball team to join Manchester in the second round of the playoffs.
Yazoo City and Yazoo County both played teams that are known statewide for having some great baseball players. Benton played a Winona Christian team that was a district champion, but a beatable one at that. The Lady Panthers’ ace pitcher, Catrina Hall, was visibly injured and not able to throw her best stuff. If she isn’t this column is most likely a baseball-only column.
Manchester, on the other hand, faced a team that didn’t know it would be in the playoffs until the final game of the season.
That’s the only upset of the group, though. In fact, it’s the only true upset of the bracket. All the other top-seeded teams won their series (there was a No. 2 seed vs. another No. 2 seed).
The Mavs’ two losses were by a combined five runs. After losing the first game of the series on the road 4-2, the Mavs won game two at home 4-1. A couple hours later their season was over with another loss.
Nobody expected that.
While we close the chapter on this baseball season, there should be plenty of optimism and hope surrounding every team.
Yazoo County’s baseball and softball teams didn’t do anything jaw-dropping, but just wait. They will.
The Panthers have probably the best all-around player that still has three years left to play. The Lady Panthers have a pitcher who could be as dominant as any other pitcher in the state. Throw in the fact that both teams were young and inexperienced this season and that’s a recipe for a state championship (or two).
Benton returns Jason Berry for his senior season in 2013, as well as Storm Davis and a host of other talented underclassmen, but loses players like Joshua Gelston and Bo Dickerson, as well as head coach Brent Woods.
Before I close this column, let me say this. Despite losing in the first round, every team should be proud and remember the success of 2012. Don’t let my words or the words of anyone else take away how special this season was to all of these players.
How many other counties have all of its baseball and softball teams advance to the playoffs?
Not many, that’s for sure.