Oak Grove and Hattiesburg were locked in battle Tuesday night in the second round of the Class 6A baseball playoffs.
Senior right-hander J.C. Keys struck out 13 batters to lead Oak Grove to a 4-3 victory over Hattiesburg in the opening game of the best of three game series at Harry Breland Field on the Oak Grove High School campus.
Hattiesburg scored two runs in the third on a throwing error that allowed both runs to score, but Oak Grove center-fielder Daniel Moore answered in the bottom of the third with a two-run double to tie the game.
The Tigers regained the lead in the top of the fourth on a leadoff single by Joseph Gray and three wild pitches that advanced Gray and allowed him to score.
Oak Grove took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Keys drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single.
Hattiesburg (18-10) had an eight-game winning streak snapped, while Oak Grove (21-7) won their fourth straight. The Warriors are the defending state champions in Class 6A.
The two teams will meet again in the second game of the series at 7 p.m. Thursday at Milton Wheeler Field on the William Carey University campus. If the two teams split the first two games, the deciding game will be at 7 p.m. Friday back at Oak Grove.
The winner of this series will take on the winner of the series between Ocean Springs and Gulfport, beginning next Tuesday.
If the Greyhounds advance, they will have home-field advantage; if the Admirals win, the Oak Grove-Hattiesburg winner will have the advantage.
Elsewhere, the opening game of the Class 6A series between Petal and Harrison Central was rained out Tuesday and has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Lyman.