French Camp faces Ethel in baseball playoffs

By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer

The French Camp Academy baseball team will be on a first-name basis
with their opponents in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A
Baseball Playoffs this weekend and they won’t have to travel far to
greet them.

FCA will be making the short trip to Ethel on Friday night for a 7
p.m. contest and then will return home to host the Tigers on Saturday
at noon to complete the best two-out-of-three series. A doubleheader
will be played on Saturday if a third game is needed.

“A lot of times in that first play-in round we end up driving to
eternity,” said FCA head coach Nathan Wright. “We will enjoy a little
shorter trip.”

The two teams have played each other three times, with Ethel winning
7-6 and 12-0 early in the season, before FCA took an 8-6 win last
Monday in nine innings.

“Both teams are very familiar with each other,” Wright said. “I think
it will be a good series. The disadvantage is that they know all our
weaknesses, but the advantage is that we know theirs.”

The Panthers took their two-run win over EHS last week in dramatic
fashion.

Ethel jumped out to a 5-2 lead only to have the Panthers score a run
in each of the fifth through seventh innings to tie the game at 5-5.
FCA then took a 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth, only to have Ethel
tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

The Panthers then used a squeeze play to score a pair of runs in the
top of the ninth to take the win.

Andrew Stevens put down the bunt to score Brady Jackson and when the
catcher threw down to first to retire Stevens, Braden McGlothin – who
was on second when the play began — just kept on running and beat the
return throw to the plate.

French Camp banged out 11 hits for the game with Travis Henning
smacking a pair of doubles and Cole Henson blasting a double to lead
the Panthers. Hagen Box had a single and double for the winners,
while McGlothin, Hunter Vaughn, Ben Hosket and Stevens had a single
each.