What?: 3rd Round of the 5A Playoffs - Best-of-3 Series
Where?: Edwin Moak Field @ OHS (Game 1 & - if necessary - Game 3) & Hernando High School (Game 2)
When?: Game 1: Friday May 10th @ 7:00, Game 2: Saturday May 11th @ 1:00, Game 3: Monday May 13th @ 6:00 (if necessary)
How can you keep up?: Bullseye 95.5 FM Radio, Bullseye955.com, @OxChargerSports Twitter Account, Baseball iScore Gamecast at this -> LINK <- (click on respective Oxford/Hernando Game with correct corresponding date of game to watch)
Probable starting rotation: Oxford - Jr. Hunter Roth (7-2, 2.21 ERA), Fr. Jason Barber (6-2, 1.78), Sr. Steven Whitfield (4-2, 3.75). Hernando: (not known, no stats were listed on the MaxPreps page)
The lowdown: What a surprise, Hernando and Oxford meet again.
Hernando defeated Oxford in two games last year in the playoffs to end the Chargers' season. (However I was not in attendance for either game due to a soccer tournament I had realtives in and refereed at in Meridian, MS)
I did do something that Hernando did not know that I did and that was attending the Hernando / Olive Branch game back on March 1st - a day that had it snow for the first inning and a half. I was able to scout them and get a spray chart on their players (and at the time, Olive Branch too - but look how that turned out...)
But that was more than two months ago, back when teams were still getting their lineups together. However, most of the Tigers on the lineup was there last year. Do not let their 14-11 record fool you. Hernando is in Desoto County like aforementioned Olive Branch, Southaven (with 3 Dandy Dozen players), Horn Lake, always tough Lewisburg - all within a 15-mile radius of the school. Everyone (except Clarksdale) they played in the region was in Desoto County as well - Baseball is the sport up near Memphis.
Both teams lost their opening game last round against Neshoba Central and Starkville but rallied to win their series and advance. Both teams have put out battle-tested schedules to prepare them for the playoffs.
Both teams have lineups that do not have many "easy outs", Hernando has some power in their lineup (against Olive Branch and Oxford last year, Timothy Rowe knocked a total of 3 Home Runs out). This should be a series to watch.
For Oxford to win this series, they must: Pitch and play defense well - Hernando does not strike out many players and put most of the balls in play. The Chargers cannot kick the ball around or Oxford will make their summer plans early.
Don't leave those ducks on the pond - meaning find a way to score runners on the base paths. Oxford left 28 on base in the three games against Starkville, more than 9 per game. Base-running miscues have also hurt (especially in Games 1 & 2 vs. Starkville) and must be fixed.
For Hernando to win this series, they must: Play fundamental ball - if Hernando is going to get by Oxford, it needs the other to make a mistake, not self-imploding. Whoever self-implodes with mistakes will be the ones with an uphill battle in this series.
Cause havoc - on the base paths. Ever since the new bats have arrived, small ball has been the name of the game it seems. Starkville did not execute this tactic in Game 3 (and cost them in the 6th inning of that game) and never got more than a run.
Weather for Friday (in Oxford): Scattered Thunderstorms to Isolated Thunderstorms (50% chance reducing to 30% chance by game's end) Temps in the low 70s to mid 60s. Winds to the NE at 5-15 MPH (cross wind from left to right on the field)
Weather for Saturday (in Hernando): Mostly Cloudy to Partly Cloudy (20% chance of rain), Temps around 70. Winds to the SSE at 8-15 MPH (cross wind from left to right at Hernando's field)
Weather for Monday (in Oxford): Clear, Temps in the low 70s to upper 60s. Winds very light to no movement
Other Notes: Oxford was swept by Hernando last year in the 3rd Round. All North teams are the same in the 3rd Round in 2010 except for Hernando who ironically beat the 4th team from that round in Neshoba Central. Ridgeland and New Hope are set for a rematch that went to 3 games which Ridgeland won.
Hernando High School:
1 - From Miss-7, take Miss-6/US-278 West toward Batesville (23 Miles)
2 - Turn right to I-55 North (36 Miles)
3 - Take Exit 280 and then turn right to E. Commerce St./Miss-304 East (1/4 Mile)
4 - Turn left to McIngvale Rd. (1/2 Mile)
5 - Turn left to Dilworth Ln (<1/4 Mile)
Arrive at Hernando High School, you can't miss the baseball field. (Total 60 Miles)