At a Glance: MHSAA Baseball State Championships

Photo by Keith Warren/MHSAA.

CLASS 6A

 

DESOTO CENTRAL vs. GEORGE COUNTY

 

Jaguars at a Glance

Coach: Mark Monaghan

Record: 27-8

How they got here: First Round Bye; def. Tupelo 2-1 (11-1, 3-9, 8-7); def. Northwest Rankin 2-1 (5-3, 0-10, 10-5); def. Oxford 2-0 (6-5, 5-4).

State Championships: 2015.

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2014.

Players to Watch: INF Peyton Mills (Northwest CC signee); P Matthew Taylor (East Mississippi CC signee); INF Hunter French (Mississippi State commit); INF Kamren James (Mississippi State commit); OF Kyle Booker (Tennessee commit); P Cade Smith (Mississippi State commit); INF Blaze Jordan (Mississippi State commit).

Coach Speak: “It’s a young talented group, but we got tremendous team chemistry,” Monaghan said. “They got two dominate starters on the mound, but we got a strong line up one through nine. We haven’t swung the bats well during the playoffs, so maybe we can swing the bats well here when it counts.”

 

Rebels at a Glance

Coach: Brandon Davis

Record: 26-4

How they got here: def. Biloxi 2-0 (2-1, 5-2); def. Brandon 2-0 (5-0, 1-0); def. Harrison Central 2-1 (6-2, 0-3, 6-3); def. Gulfport 2-0 (2-1, 4-2).

State Championships: 1997.

State Championship Appearances: 2016, 2015, 1997, 1996.

Players to Watch: P/C Logan Tanner (Mississippi State commit); P/OF Trevor McDonald (South Alabama commit); DH Cameron Cotton (East Central CC signee); INF Jarrett Anders; INF Ethan Coleman.

Coach Speak: “Third time in four years to play at Trustmark, but we have yet to win a game here. If we can win one I feel like we got a chance,” Davis said. “DeSoto is tough group, but hopefully we can continue to pitch well like we’ve had all season and get timely hits.”

 

CLASS 5A

 

LEWISBURG vs. HATTIESBURG

 

Patriots at a Glance

Coach: Rusty Cagle

Record: 26-7

How they got here: First Round Bye; def. Saltillo 2-0 (6-4, 5-2); def. Germantown 2-1 (1-0, 6-16, 1-0); def. Ridgeland 2-0 (4-0, 8-3).

State Championships: 2013.

State Championship Appearances: 2013, 2012.

Players to Watch: P/OF Bryce Brock (Mississippi State signee); INF Landon Wilkerson (Northeast CC signee); P/INF Cooper Dowell (Northwest CC signee); INF Landon Rogers; C Austin Gentry (SW Tennessee CC signee); C/DH Brady Johnson (East Mississippi CC signee).

Coach Speak: “Just an awesome experience to be back down here for the first time in five years,” Cagle said. “Hattiesburg is super talented and has guys that are pro prospects. We’re just going to do what we do and throw strikes and try to keep them off balance and score enough runs offensively.”

 

Tigers at a Glance

Coach: Joe Hartfield

Record: 24-10

How they got here: First Round Bye; def. Wayne County 2-0 (8-3, 10-0); def. South Jones 2-1 (3-8, 11-8, 13-1); def. West Jones 2-0 (6-3, 10-8).

State Championships: 2006, 1998, 1997, 1994, 1980.

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2006, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1994, 1983, 1980.

Players to Watch: OF/P Joe Gray (Ole Miss signee); UTL Dexter Jordan (UL-Lafayette signee); P/INF A.J. Stinson (Alabama State signee); P/OF Kameron Wells (Miami Dade CC signee); OF/P Jay Reedy.

Coach Speak: “Our guys knew coming into the year that had to work real hard to get to this point,” Hartfield said. “This series is going to be interesting. Lewisburg has excellent pitching and we are good hitting team, so we will see how it goes.”

 

CLASS 4A

 

NEW HOPE vs. VANCLEAVE

 

Trojans at a Glance

Coach: Lee Boyd

Record: 29-5

How they got here: def. Senatobia 2-0 (15-5, 3-1); def. Mooreville 2-1 (3-8, 9-4, 5-3); def. Ripley 2-0 (3-1, 4-3) def. Kosciusko 2-0 (9-8, 9-3).

State Championships: 2014, 2013, 2003, 1998, 1996, 1991, 1983.

State Championship Appearances: 2014, 2013, 2003, 2002, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1991, 1984, 1983, 1978.

Players to Watch: P/INF Nick Sims (Gulf Coast CC signee); INF Drew Pounders (MS Delta CC signee); P/DH Payton Springfield; P/OF Ryan Burt.

Coach Speak: “It’s a different group for us and we’ve had a tradition of getting to this point,” Boyd said. “Vancleave pitch it very well, a very good line up offensively, so we got to play very well for us to have a chance.”

 

Bulldogs at a Glance

Coach: Daniel Best

Record: 27-7

How they got here: def. Mendenhall 2-0 (10-0, 18-5); def. Poplarville 2-0 (6-1, 9-5); def. West Lauderdale 2-0 (3-2, 5-4); def. East Central 2-0 (3-1, 4-0).

State Championships: None

State Championship Appearances: First appearance

Players to Watch: P/OF Bailee Hendon (Jones JC signee); INF Colton Hipp (Meridian CC signee); C Jason Moss; P/INF Justin Stokes (Southwest CC signee); P Hayden Robb (MS Gulf Coast CC signee).

Coach Speak: “It’s unbelievable ride. The seniors have been working hard their whole career to get to this point,” Best said. “We got to continue do what we do that got us to this point and hopefully play well.”

 

CLASS 3A

 

NORTH PONTOTOC vs. ST. ANDREW’S

 

Vikings at a Glance

Coach: Chad Anthony

Record: 25-5

How they got here: def. South Pontotoc 2-0 (8-2, 9-1); def. Charleston 2-0 (15-0, 15-0); def. Houston 2-1 (2-1, 4-17, 2-1); def. Booneville 2-0 (2-1, 4-1).

State Championships: None.

State Championship Appearances: 2011.

Players to Watch: P/INF Clark Mills (Itawamba CC football signee); C Sheffield Anthony; P/OF Jake Reeder; INF/OF Ethan Dyer; P/INF Corley Hooper

Coach Speak: “Thought our kids have shown a lot of toughness throughout the playoffs and have a goal to come down and win this thing,” Anthony said. “We know St. Andrew’s has some really good arms. We’ve got to come down here and not to do too much and take what the game gives us.”

 

Saints at a Glance

Coach: Mark Fanning

Record: 31-6

How they got here: def. Jefferson County 2-0 (17-1, 11-1); def. Columbia 2-0 (2-1, 8-2); def. West Marion 2-0 (8-0, 3-2); def. Seminary 2-1 (1-11, 12-5, 6-5).

State Championships: 1985, 1979, 1978, 1977.

State Championship Appearances: 2016, 2009, 2001, 1991, 1985, 1979, 1978, 1977.

Players to Watch: P/INF C.J. Carron (Rhodes College signee); INF Sam Roffwarg (Rhodes College signee); P/INF Holland Townes (Mercer signee, soccer); P/OF Banks Tolley; OF Avery Thomas; INF David DuCote.

Coach Speak: “Bring a much more experience squad this year and been looking forward to being here all year and glad to be able to compete for a state championship,” Fanning said. “We got a resilient group. Pitching depth has been a huge advantage for us and will be for this series. North Pontotoc is a great team and we have a big challenge in front of us.”

 

CLASS 2A

 

EAST UNION vs. MADISON ST. JOSEPH

 

Urchins at a Glance

Coach: Chris Basil

Record: 28-6

How they got here: def. Philadelphia 2-0 (8-0, 16-1); def. Eupora 2-0 (1-0, 5-2); def. Calhoun City 2-1 (14-4, 5-6, 5-3); def. East Webster 2-1 (3-4, 2-1, 4-2).

State Championships: 2017, 2016.

State Championship Appearances: 2017, 2016, 2013, 2007, 2005, 1995, 1975.

Players to Watch: UTL Joel Wilkinson; P/INF Josh Basil; C Kagan Garrison; INF Ethan Hitt.

Coach Speak: “These boys this year have done a great job of sticking together and fighting some adversity to get back down here for a third straight year,” Basil said. “We have to throw strikes. St. Joe is a very good team and don’t strike out a lot.”

 

Bruins at a Glance

Coach: Gerard McCall

Record: 26-10

How they got here: def. West Lincoln 2-0 (10-0, 14-3) def. Richton 2-1 (12-8, 6-7, 3-1); def. Taylorsville 2-1 (11-1, 6-16, 8-7); def. Perry Central 2-0 (12-2, 13-10).

State Championships: 1977, 1975, 1969.

State Championship Appearances: 1980, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1972, 1970, 1969.

Players to Watch: INF/OF Trey Frierson (Copiah-Lincoln CC signee); P/INF Josh Bailey; INF/OF Steven Wolf; C/OF Andrew Sanli.

Coach Speak: “I think we got hot at the right time this year and have been hitting the ball well in the playoffs,” McCall said. “Pitching and defense has really stepped up and been the difference and don’t need to make mistakes, so we can have a chance.”

 

CLASS 1A

 

SMITHVILLE vs. NANIH WAIYA

 

Seminoles at a Glance

Coach: Jamie Russell

Record: 20-10

How they got here: def. Pine Grove 2-1 (6-7, 18-0, 8-1); def. Myrtle 2-1 (3-4, 5-1, 16-6); def. Tupelo Christian 2-1 (4-3, 2-3, 10-0); def. West Union 2-1 (5-3, 2-3, 6-3).

State Championships: 2014.

State Championship Appearances: 2017, 2015, 2014.

Players to Watch: P/INF Jared Johnson; P/OF Dustin Moffett; P/INF Will McNeese; OF Cameron Wardlow.

Coach Speak: “Great opportunity to get back here after losing a lot of seniors and filled some spots and the guys worked hard to get down here,” Russell said. “Every series we played in the playoffs went three games and the kids stepped up to the challenge and will need to in this series for us to have a chance.”

 

Warriors at a Glance

Coach: Tyler Rogers

Record: 26-2

How they got here: def. Lumberton 2-1 (13-0, 6-10, 4-1); def. Sebastopol 2-0 (10-0, 15-1); def. Resurrection 2-0 (13-3, 20-9); def. Stringer 2-0 (13-10, 4-3).

State Championships: 2017, 2012, 2011

State Championship Appearances: 2017, 2013, 2012, 2011, 1987

Players to Watch: P/INF Roper Ball (East Central CC signee); P/OF Bryce Stanton (Northeast CC signee); C Dalton Luke (Hinds CC signee); INF Coley Taylor; OF Chris Smith (UL-Lafayette football signee).

Coach Speak: “This is the special group of guys and they provide a lot of leadership,” Rogers said. “Getting to play Smithville again speaks volume for both teams. They prevent challenges for us and we do the same for them, so we will definitely have to play our best.”