Class 1A Recap: Nanih Waiya walks off to claim back to back state titles

Photo by Keith Warren/MHSAA.

PEARL — It was deja vu all over again.

Jake Kight hit a walk-off single to right to lift Nanih Waiya past Smithville 4-3 to claim its second straight MHSAA Class 1A Baseball State Championship at Trustmark Park on Friday afternoon.

It is the Warriors (29-2) fourth state championship in school history.

Kight had a walk-off suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 3 of last years state title game.

“When I was coming up to the plate I turned around to one of my teammates and I winked. I ain’t trying to be cocky but I thought I could do it,” Kight said. “I like being in big moments. To bunt for a state championship was alright, but to actually get a hit was awesome.”

With Nanih Waiya up 3-2 in the top seventh and runners on first and second base, Smithville’s Tucker Hood would hit a sharp single to center to tie the game at 3-3.

“That was a great baseball game,” said Nanih Waiya coach Tyler Rogers. “Jake has ice water in his veins. Pressure doesn’t bother him and he goes up there and gets a base hit to win the state championship.”

Smithville would grab a 2-0 lead in the top the third off an error and a RBI single by Cameron Wardlaw.

Nanih Waiya would tie the game up at 2-2 on a RBI ground-out by Coley Taylor and RBI single by Shia Moore.

The Warriors would take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Tanner Luke beat a throw to the plate.

In the bottom of the seventh and one out, Dalton Luke would reach on a single and then stole second base.  He was then pinch-run for by Austin Sanders.

With two outs Kight came up and slapped a single to right with Sanders beating the throw home after he slipped and fell after crossing the third base bag.

Roper Ball got the win on the mound in relief for Nanih Waiya.

“That’s the great thing about baseball. You don’t know whats going to happen,” Rogers said. “Proud of the team and especially the seniors. This was a special group and proud they can go out like this.”

Jared Johnson took the loss on the mound for Smithville.

Johnson had three hits to lead the Seminoles offensively, while Cameron Wardlaw added two hits for Smithville (20-12), who is seeking its first state title since 2014.