RIDGELAND — Some early offense and a solid pitching performance from senior Ben Boykin helped lift the Ridgeland Titans to a 6-3 win over the Oxford Chargers in the first game of the MHSAA’s Class 5A North Half title series Thursday night.
Ridgeland drew first blood in the best-of-three series that now shifts back to OHS for Game 2 tonight at 6. The Titans (22-8 overall) scored five of their runs in the first inning on seven hits and two OHS errors and then used Boykin’s performance to make the lead stick.
The Chargers (18-11) had good energy early as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first against Boykin thanks to a solo home run from Luke Gibbs, who drove an 0-1 offering deep to left-center field.
Oxford’s lead was shortlived, however, as the Titans answered with five runs in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead for good.
OHS starter Hunt Halford (7-4) started the inning with a strikeout, but he gave up six straight hits following the opening out to fall behind. Two errors in the outfield allowed the first three runs to score, but as Oxford coach Chris Baughman pointed out postgame, the runs would have been plated due to the Titans’ hot bats. (May 13, 2011, Page 6A)