MOOREVILLE – Andrew Peugh sat idle in Mooreville’s bullpen throughout the postseason … until Sunday.
The junior left-hander, seeing his first duty in the playoffs, scattered seven hits and struck out eight to lead the Troopers to a 6-1 victory against Division 1 rival Kossuth in Game 3 of their MHSAA Class 3A state semifinals series.
The win sends Mooreville (26-9) to the state championship series against Seminary (22-7) at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Game 1 is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“Andrew hadn’t pitched in over a month,” Mooreville coach Derek Thompson said. “It’s not his fault. It’s not anybody’s fault, except that Will (Armistead) and Trace (Henry) have been getting it done in the playoffs, winning Games 1 and 2.
“There’s nobody I’d rather give the ball to in a Game 3 situation than Andrew Peugh. He’s as good as any of them, I promise you.”
Peugh (6-3, 1.99 ERA), who is usually a slow starter, gave up five hits and one run through the first three innings. He gave up two hits and recorded seven strikeouts over the final four innings by relying on his breaking ball.
“I usually get stronger as I go,” Peugh said. “That was a good Kossuth team. They are extremely hard to pitch to. I had some players make plays behind me. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”
Kossuth (21-14), the defending state champions.have won three state titles in the last four seasons.
Mooreville took a 2-0 lead through two innings on an RBI double by Andy Franks and an RBI single by Henry.
Holding a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth, the Troopers responded with a four-run, three-hit inning to build their 6-1 lead. Peugh had a two-run double and Armistead plated a run with a sacrifice fly. Franks got his second RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“We got big hits when we needed them early,” Thompson said. “In the sixth, I told the kids we had to find a way to get some insurance runs. That Kossuth bunch over there is good. They are champions for a reason. They battle you to the very end. That took some pressure off.”