Tallahatchie was three outs away from closing in on the Dealers lead in the Cotton States League standings, but allowed North Delta to come back en route to a 2-1 loss on Saturday.
The game, which was rained out earlier in the season, pitted the top two teams in league standings as well as the top pitcher in North Delta’s Jeremy Massie against the league’s top three hitters in Tallahatchie’s Evan Frazier, Josh Chism and Hunter Mize.
Frazier scored the Rascals’ lone run in the fifth, reaching on a walk and advancing to third off a balk and passed ball. A ground out by Austin Hiatt brought Frazier home, and the Rascals looked to be in good shape to pick up their 10th win of the season before Walt McCullough tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with his RBI double.
With bases loaded and one out, Derrick Shawn reached on an error, which scored Luke McCullough to give the Dealers the win.
Massie remains perfect in ERA, posting a mark of 0.00 in eight appearances with a 7-0 record. Massie struck out six in the complete game effort, while Jon Andy Scott had the loss for the Rascals, allowing three hits with eight strikeouts.
Tallahatchie picked up three wins over the weekend, beginning with a 4-0 shutout of the Tippah County Tribe on Thursday.
Beau Cummings allowed two hits for the Tribe while Hiatt had two RBI in the win.
The Rascals bounced back from their loss to the Dealers with a 6-5 win over the Tupelo Thunder.
John Jordan and Trae Allison each had two hits while Mize picked up the win despite allowing three runs by the Thunder in the final inning. With bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Will Wallis walked, scoring Frazier to give the Rascals the win.
The Rascals ended the weekend with a 14-1 win over the Golden Triangle Jets on Sunday.
Josh Chism had four hits and four RBI and also earned the win on the mound, pitching six innings with one hit and eight strikeouts.
At 12-5-1, the Rascals will enter this weekend’s league tournament as the number two seed and play the Jets on Saturday.
Dealers claim regular season title
Despite an 8-2 setback to the Tippah County Tribe on Sunday, the North Delta Dealers claimed its first regular season championship in the BNA Bank Cotton States League, dethroning the two-time champions in Tallahatchie.
After coming from behind to defeat the Rascals, 2-1, on Saturday, the Dealers capped the day with a 12-11 win over the Tupelo Thunder.
Down 11-9 in the seventh, the Dealers took the lead, scoring three runs with two outs. Derrick Shawn started the comeback after he was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shawn later scored off a double by Nathan VanNortwick.
Jeremy Carlisle later plated VanNortwick with his single to tie the game and Jonathan Andrews walked with bases loaded, bringing in the eventual game-winning run.
The Dealers dropped their final game of the regular season, 8-2 to the Tribe.
Jimel Judon had two RBI for the Tribe, who scored seven runs in the first frame to control the game. The Dealers were held to five hits in the contest, as Andrew Busby picked up the win for Tippah County, pitching six innings with 10 strikeouts.
In other CSBL action, the Jets defeated the Tribe, 2-0 on Saturday.
Golden Triangle picked up the shutout win despite having no hits against Jonathan Jeanice. Bradley Wallace had the win for the Jets, recording 15 strikeouts in the complete game effort.
The 2011 Cotton States League will come to a close this weekend with the league championship tournament. The Thunder will take on the Tribe at 1 p.m. with the winner facing the Dealers at 6 p.m. Tallahatchie and the Jets will face each other at 3:30 p.m., and the winner of that game will advance to Sunday’s Championship Game, which will be played at 4 p.m.
For more information on the CSBL, visit www.cottonstatesleague.com.