By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
The Government Secondary Schools Sports Association will begin its best-of-three softball and baseball championship series today at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex, although there’s still some unfinished business to be completed before it all unfolds.
The GSSSA still has some matches in the sudden death playoffs to be completed today just before the finals get underway. Those games not completed had to be delayed because time expired before they were finished yesterday.
Senior Boys Baseball
RM Bailey vs CR Walker
After losing their only game of the season by default, the Pacers earned the rights to avenge the defeat at the hands of the undefeated Knights when they clash in the finals.
RM Bailey, behind the clutch pitching of ace Ladanian McKenzie, held off the CV Bethel Stingrays 4-3 in their sudden playoff yesterday to secure their much-anticipated showdown against CR Walker.
“Today, we came out and performed. We were missing one of our key players, Tajarie Wilson, but the guys stepped it up,” said Clifton Carey, the head coach for the Pacers.
“Everyone counted us out at the beginning of the season. But we came together and we did it today to get into the championship. We’re looking forward to playing CR Walker. Red vs red.”
McKenzie, a 15-year-old 10th grader, said he was willing and ready to carry the team.
“We just need to make some adjustments for CR Walker, but we feel we can beat them,” he said. “I know I will be ready. I’m looking forward to the championship.”
The Knights blanked the CC Sweeting Cobras 8-0 to earn their berth in the final. They started the game on Friday when they took a 6-0 lead, but it was delayed until Monday when they finished it off.
Coach Tia Rolle said just as they did during the regular season, they are hoping to remain undefeated, having not lost a title in the past nine years.
“We don’t know what RM Bailey has to bring. We know that they are a pretty good defensive team with a good pitcher,” Rolle said. “I have a deep line-up with pitchers. Out of my nine players on the field, six of them can go on the field and pitch. We’re waiting for RM Bailey.”
Senior girls softball
CR Walker vs Doris Johnson
The Knights pulled off a 1-0 win over CV Bethel in their playoff yesterday, but Aikia Rose, who has been coaching the Knights since 2018, said if CR Walker wins another title, they will have to play much better than they did. “We had a pretty good start off, but we had a few errors. If we can get these errors together, we can win the championship,” Rose said. “We have to come with a strategy against them. I can’t tell my strategy out loud, but we will be ready for them.”
The Mystic Marlins knocked off CC Sweeting 4-1 to get into the final.
Junior boys baseball final
AF Adderley waiting
While the Fighting Tigers remained undefeated to get into the final, they are waiting on their opponents, who will come from the match-up between SC McPherson and HO Nash that will be completed today.
The Sharks took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the second when the game was halted due to darkness on Tuesday. For AF Adderley, head coach Vincent Sullivan said they are on a mission and it doesn’t matter who they get to face.
“We are a pretty good team. We had a pretty decent season,” he pointed out.
“We accomplished our first goal that we set at the beginning of the season, which was to win the pennant. We did that and now we’re set for the championship and the work begins.”
Considering this as a new season after going 7-0 during the regular season, Sullivan said they will have to continue to play up to par, or they could lose it all against either the Sharks or the Lions.
Junior girls softball
HO Nash waiting
After demolishing TA Thompson 15-3 in their playoff game yesterday, the Lions will have to wait until today to see who their opponents in the final will be.
CH Reeves and LW Young played to a 4-4 tie until the game was halted due to darkness.
For HO Nash, after winning the pennant with a 7-0 undefeated regular season, coach April Styles-Rolle said they have been preparing for the long haul and should be in good condition to go after the title.
“We have a lot of cleaning up to do before we start the championship, but I know my girls are capable of doing it,” Styles-Rolle said.
“I know what we are capable of doing and I’ve seen the other teams.
“Once we can keep our head in the game, we can come out victorious. We have an outstanding pitcher and she will be a star in the future. So I want to the public to look out for her.”
Jerniah Frazer, a 14-year-old ninth grader at HO Nash, said she’s looking forward to taking the Lions to the promised land.
“I am very pleased and very happy that I was able to pitch against every team and still come out victorious,” Frazer said.
“I’ve been practicing with my team, making sure that I am in shape. I know we can win it all this year.”
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