Rummel made its playoff debut and showed the effects of a 12-day layoff.
Starting pitcher Jackson Dennies struggled with his control and made it through just 5.1 innings before reaching his pitch-count and the Raiders made two errors.
But Dennies got clutch outs and Rummel had clutch hits in a 5-2 victory against Byrd in Game 1 of a Division I quarterfinal series at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium.
The second game will be played at 4 p.m. Friday and if a third game is necessary it will follow at approximately 7 p.m.
The fourth-seeded Raiders (20-12), who beat the fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets (20-16), 9-3 on March 1 in a tournament at Ouachita Christian and had a first-round playoff bye, won their fifth consecutive game. Byrd, which advanced by sweeping a first-round series against 12th-seeded Scotlandville, lost for just the second time in 12 games.
Dennies allowed a first-inning run and at least one baserunner in every inning except the fifth, but stranded eight runners.
The Raiders scored in each of the first three innings as the leadoff hitter in each inning got a hit.
“I started off rusty,” Dennies said. “I get better as the game goes on. I don’t get phased by a pitch count. I got in a grove later on.”
Dennies, who went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored, caught Hayden Elwell, who relived and got the final five outs for a save.
“Jackson didn’t start well, but he got us into the sixth and that was huge,” Rummel coach Nick Monica said. “He shortened the game for our bullpen.”
Dennies left the mound after giving up a one-out single, just the second hit he allowed, in the sixth.
Elwell allowed a groundout and Jake Harris’ RBI-single. He struck out Charlie Barham, but Barham reached on a wild pitch before Elwell got a fielder’s-choice grounder.
After striking out the first two batters in the seventh, Elwell allowed consecutive singles, bringing the tying run to the plate before he got another strikeout to end it.
“Credit their pitching for getting out of jams,” Byrd coach Greg Williams said. “They made a lot of good pitches in pressure situations. We got out of jams as well, but that three-spot in the first put us behind.”
Byrd took advantage of Dennies’ wildness to score a run in the first. He walked three of the first four batters and Mason Langdon hit an RBI-single.
Rummel responded with three runs in the bottom half. Lance Johnson hit the first pitch for a leadoff single and one out later Ron Franklin was hit by a pitch.
After another out, Chandler Fields hit a two-run double and Tyler Cook followed with an RBI-single.
“That was huge,” Dennies said. “We knew we had to score and those three runs gave us confidence.”
The Raiders added a run in the second when Dennies led off with a double and two outs later Yellow Jackets center fielder Ashton Nelson dropped Johnson’s pop-up.
Rummel increased the lead to 5-1 in the third when Franklin led off with a single, stole second and two outs later came home on a double by Cook, who finished 2 of 3 with two RBI.
“We talked leading up to the game about the importance of getting timely hits,” Monica said. “We scored all five runs today with two outs. That’s the name of the game and hopefully it continues.”