Petal coach Larry Watkins was a bit concerned when the season started about how his team would hit without 2012 Mr. Baseball Anthony Alford and Tyler Graves in the lineup.
Games like Saturday, when his Panthers had 14 hits, remind Watkins that everything is just fine.
Kyle Smith, Trevor Williams and Dandy Dozen senior Larson Barkurn had three hits each to lead No. 9 Petal to a 9-5 victory over Clinton.
“I thought we hit the baseball really well today,” said Watkins.
Petal (20-6) erased a 1-0 deficit in the third inning, taking advantage of three errors to build a 5-1 lead.
“This whole game was dictated in the third inning for us,” said Clinton coach Eddie Lofton. “You take that inning away and it’s a game.”
Junior left-hander Drew Smith (6-0) went the distance, scattering seven hits with five strikeouts.
Petal (20-6) will play Natchez in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs starting at 6 p.m. Friday.