By Thomas Sellers Jr.
RIPLEY — The objective of Tuesday for the Millington Trojans was to win a pair of games in the District 15-2A Baseball Tournament.
The mission began on the Ripley Baseball Field against the Bolivar Central Tigers — win and advance to play the Haywood Tomcats. The loser of the first game would have their 2019 season come to an end.
On their way to surviving to face Haywood in the District 15-2A Semifinals, the Trojans enjoyed a piece of history in beating Bolivar 12-7. In the midst of all the offense by both teams, Millington sophomore ace Wesley Culley struck out his 100th batter of the season.
“Having 100 strikeouts, that’s huge,” Culley said. “I’m just doing my job. He’s doing his job. We’re all doing our job. That’s big but to have 100K, I don’t know what to say.”
His battery mate all season has been senior Dylan Doyle. Doyle was honored to be a part of the Trojan Baseball milestone.
“It’s definitely a huge eye-opener to see what a sophomore can do,” he said. “Coming into the year I didn’t think he would be a the level he would be. But I can see him definitely walking onto a college and performing with the best.”
The achievement came as part of a Trojan victory beginning with 4 runs in the first inning. Millington players Will Jackson and Chad Chadwick drove in runs to make the score 4-1.
The Trojans scored three runs in the second inning when Tommy Clifton led off with a single. Clifton navigated the bases before Brock Musgroves drove him in from third. A couple of batters later Doyle brought home a run with a ground ball to make the score 6-1.
Millington seemed to be in control heading into the third inning ahead 7-1. The Tigers fought back with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning to make the tally 7-3.
Then Bolivar trimmed the deficit to 7-6 in the fourth inning courtesy of a three-run double. The Trojans absorbed the Tiger blow and answered back with 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Clifton, Musgroves and Seth Saigeon loaded the bases all with base hits. Doyle got the scoring started with the first RBI on a ground ball fielder’s choice. Millington was ahead 11-6.
In the fifth inning, Wesley reached the 100K mark. Both teams added a run but it was the Trojans advancing to play the Tomcats for the right to reach the District 15-2A Baseball Tournament championship game.
“The senior mindset is win one game at time and get as far as we can,” Doyle said. “The past four years we haven’t got this far. It’s a huge achievement to get this far in districts.
“Dugout has to be up, energy has to be there, intensity has to be there,” he concluded. “We have to be hyped up the all time.”
Millington’s 2019 season came to end in the second game when the Tomcats prevailed 11-3. Haywood advanced to play the No. 1 seeded Covington Chargers earning a spot in this week’s Regional Tournament staring Monday night.