SIMPSON– After giving up two early runs, Simpson settled in and punched its ticket to state.
Behind six solid innings from Colton Parker, the Broncos defeated Hackberry 12-2 in six innings Tuesday night in the LHSAA Class C Quarterfinals.
"It's exciting," Simpson head coach Austin Cox said. "Last year, I was at Rosepine, and we made it down there to the semis. I got a taste of it, but unfortunately, it didn't work out the way we wanted. Last year, these guys made it to the state championship, and it didn't work out the way they wanted. We're ready to get to work and are hoping for some good outcomes.
"All week long, we've been talking about treating each game like a state title game, because from here on out, every game is a win or go home game. If you start looking to far forward, you can stumble."
Williams struck out 11 during his time on the mound while allowing just three hits.
"He started to settle in and get down in the zone," Cox said. "He got command of his fastball and didn't get behind against many too many batters. Whenever you do that, it gives you a chance to succeed in every at bat. He did what we needed."
After Hackberry scored two runs in the top of the first, Simpson (18-16) took the lead in the bottom of the inning with RBI singles by Dustin Williams, Christian Williams and Colby Gray to go up 3-2.
Landon Hall, courtesy running for Williams, scored on an error in the third, and Landon Meyers drove in Gray to put Simpson up 5-2 in the fourth inning.
With runners on second and third with one out in the top of the sixth innings, Parker struck out back-to-back batters to get out of the jam.
"He's a super competitive guy, just like the rest of this team," Cox said. "He has an extra gear at times and can go make a play on his own. He goes out and attacks. He also trusts his defense, as well."
In the bottom of the sixth, the Simpson offense began to click, starting with an RBI single by Williams to make it 6-2.
Hunter Robertson walked with the bases load, and Williams scored on a passed ball as the Broncos increased the lead to 8-2.
Zach Allbritton drove in two runners with a double, and Tanner Yates hit a walk off, two-run single to send Simpson to Sulphur.
"I don't know how many hits we ended up having, but we put the bat on ball pretty well," Cox said. "We hit a few at them hard, and they made a couple of double plays. We never got see the same guy twice, until they brought their starter back in. That's tough, as far as rhythm goes."
The No. 1 Broncos will take on No. 4 Georgetown at 5 p.m. on Wednesday on Field 37 at McMurray Park.