Central Private to start championship series against Marshall

Central Private gets to throw out the first pitch during what will be championship week for high school baseball teams in the Baton Rouge area.

The Rebels (27-4) host Marshall Academy (21-11) in the first game of a best-of-three series to decide the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 2A overall champion. Game time is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Central Private.

“We feel pretty good about where we are,” Central Private coach Jason Kinchen said. “Marshall has an edge in experience because they were in the finals last year.

“But we’ve got a group of experienced pitchers to lean on, and we’ve been getting timely hitting from a number of guys. We need to continue doing the things we have been doing and stay focused.”

The MAIS series starts before the majority of teams head off to several Louisiana High School Athletic Association tournaments later in the week. After Tuesday’s Game 1, the teams meet again Friday at Marshall, located in Holly Springs, Miss., to play a doubleheader, if needed, to decide the title.

Coach Bart Jenkins’ Marshall squad is led by left-hander Aaron McAlexander (10-1). MAIS North champion Marshall was the MAIS 2A runner-up to Centreville Academy last season.

Central Private defeated Centreville last week to claim the MAIS South 2A title and seeks its first overall crown since 2008.

Brennan Fucich (7-1, 1.02 ERA) gets the start for the Rebels, who can also turn to Chase Martin (7-1) and Blake Chelette (6-0).

Brad Miller leads Central Private in hitting with a .444 average, 11 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBIs. Blake Benoit (.372, 19 RBIs), Martin (.351, 17 RBIs) and Layton Laird (.315, 23 RBIs).