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High school baseball: Minden advances to second round of playoffs with Game 3 victory

by Russell Hedges

The Minden Crimson Tide defeated Beau Chene 5-3 in the decisive Game 3 of their series in the first round of the non-select Division II playoffs Friday night at Griffith Stadium.

The Tide bounced back after failing 2-1 in eight innings in Game 2, which was the first of a doubleheader.

Minden, which won Game 1 4-2 Thursday, took the series two games to one.

Minden (23-9), the No. 14 seed, will visit No. 3 Brusly (23-6) in the second round next week. The Panthers received a bye in the first round. Beau Chene, the No. 19 seed, finished 19-16.

Beau Chene, the designated home team, scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to force the decisive Game 3.

In Game 3, the Tide took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Zander Rowell’s two-out RBI-single. Landyn Huddleston led off with a single, moved to second on Hudson Brown’s sacrifice bunt and reached third on Jaxon Smith’s groundout.

Beau Chene tied it in the top of the third.

Jakobe Jackson broke the tie with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning. Landon Brewer scored on Bryson Ranger’s single to make it 3-1. Brewer walked and moved to second on Brody Bower’s sacrifice bunt.

The Tide tacked on another run in the fifth. Bower scored on a wild pitch and error. Huddleston had a single.

The Gators cut the lead to one with two runs in the top of the sixth.

Brewer moved from third base to the mound with a runner at third and one out. He proceeded to get back-to-back strikeouts.

Minden added its final run in the bottom of the inning on a double by Bower with two outs. Bray Winston, who drew a walk with one out and reached second on a wild pitch, scored.

Beau Chene got a leadoff walk in the seventh. But Brewer struck out the next two batters and induced a groundout to end the game.

Starting pitcher Rowell and Huddleston both went 2-for-2. Bower went 1-for-1 and drew two walks. 

Rowell allowed five hits and one earned run in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Smith went the distance in the first game Friday. He allowed just two hits, struck out five and walked two. He also had two of the Tide’s five hits.

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