Cumby wins do-or-die match-up
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 30, 2004 -- The Cumby Trojans got a taste of the playoffs on Thursday, even though the postseason doesn't start until next week.

The Trojans, faced with a do-or-die showdown with Celeste, did.

With senior southpaw Mike Robertson scattering eight hits while striking out six and walking just two batters in a complete-game victory, the Trojans beat Celeste, 4-2, to clinch the runner-up spot in District 14-1A.

"The kids played really well under playoff pressure atmosphere," said Cumby head coach Scott Mabe. "Mika seemed to get stronger as the game went on. He really exemplified senior leadership tonight. He had to work from behind in the count early in the game, and made Celeste put the ball in play. He also had flawless defense behind him and that helped his confidence."

Outstanding defensive plays by right fielder Todd Higginbotham and second baseman Jeffrey Smith helped short-circuit potential Celeste rallies as the Trojans played error-free ball. The Blue Devils, meanwhile, committed five errors.

The Trojans took a 3-0 lead into the second inning after scoring a single run in the first and two more in the second. Robertson contributed offensively, scoring two runs and driving in one in the second inning. Jake Petty had two hits, Justin Taylor and Smith had RBI singles for the Trojans. Celeste scored a pair of runs in the bottom of third to pull within 3-2 on David Lakeman's RBI single. Cooper Haralson and John Mark Barnard both had a pair of hits for the Blue Devils, but Robertson was able to keep them off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

Celeste's Stephen Wilson took the loss after giving up five hits and striking out seven.

The Trojans (13-5 overall, 9-3 in district) never trailed in the game. Celeste fell to 10-8, 6-4. Bland is the 14-1A champion.

Cumby now awaits the winner of Collinsville and Sam Rayburn from District 13-1A in the playoffs.

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