SULPHUR – For the third year in a row, Simpson will have a shot at the Class C State Championship.
The Broncos avenged a loss from last year's title game, defeating Harrisonburg 2-0 Wednesday afternoon at McMurry Park.
"I didn't have to motivate them any extra," Simpson head coach Austin Cox said. "They were there. These guys have been here three years in a row, now. They lost a heartbreaker to Elizabeth two years ago and another heartbreaker last year against a very good team. Last year, I felt like we were young. We had a lot of inexperience and turned over seven new starters from the year before."
Simpson pitcher Landon Meyers was lights out for the Broncos, throwing six innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 13.
"I just remembered last year when I threw curveballs against them and they couldn't mess with them," he said. "So I just did the same thing as in the finals last year, but just a different outcome.
"We didn't want to have the same feeling as last year, so we knew it was going to be different this time."
Meyers got ahead in the count often with a breaking ball to open up at-bats.
"It's very easy, because I feel like everything I call, he's going to throw it for a strike," Cox said. "When you throw a first-pitch breaking ball for a strike early, it starts making the hitters think. They start pressing a bit, and you can pitch people backward."
In the top of the second, Meyers found himself in a bases loaded jam after walking back-to-back hitters, but got a strikeout to get out of the inning.
"It takes a lot of confidence, and I try to have a good bit of it, most of the time," Meyers said. "If you're up there and nervous, it doesn't work most of the time. You just have to be confident in yourself."
In the bottom of the third, Simpson scored its two runs on a throwing error that allowed Meyers and Dustin Williams to cross the plate.
"We didn't find much green today," Cox said. "We had six hits, but the biggest thing is putting pressure on teams. You put the ball in play, and the defense cracks, making an error here or there. We caught a break and got our two runs on an error."
After walking the leadoff batter in the top of the seventh, Colton Parker came in for relief of Meyers and struck out two to end the game.
Parker went 3-for-3 from the plate, and Williams and Zach Allbritton each picked up a hit.
Simpson will take on No. 1 Summerfield at 11:30 a.m. Friday on Field No. 40 at McMurry Park in the Class C State Championship Game.
"We got bad weather coming, but it's like I told these guys, we have to get ready to go because Summerfield is sitting there, and they are a good team," Cox said. "We can't have any letdowns."