PEARL — The long wait is over.
Behind two big innings and the pitching of Grayson Guillory, St. Joe got past East Union 5-1 to claim the MHSAA Class 2A State Championship at Trustmark Park on Saturday afternoon.
It is the Bruins (28-11) fourth state title in school history and first state title since 1977.
“A lot of hard work. I think the key word to describe this team was unselfishness and the guys bought in,” said St. Joe coach Gerard McCall. “We bunted the ball well today and Grayson was great on the mound. At one point in the season I took out of the pitching because he couldn’t throw a strike and he fought his way back and won a lot of big games as our number three guy.”
Guillory would toss a complete game scattering three hits, gave up one run, walked five and struck out none. He also helped himself at the plate going 2-for-2 with a RBI single in the fourth inning.
“One of the best games I’ve pitched all season. Who’d a thought I come out here in Game 3 and pitch like that after struggling all season,” Guillory said. “Coach had faith in me and I had faith in my team. Fast ball was my go to pitch and was fortunate enough to get a lot of fly outs.”
East Union would get on the board first on a RBI single by Josh Basil to take a 1-0 lead, however Joel Wilkinson would get thrown out of the game after a small collision with St. Joe catcher Andrew Sanli at the plate for malicious contact.
St. Joe would score three runs in the bottom of the third on RBI single by Andrew Sanli and on two groundouts.
The Bruins would add two more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Josh Bailey and Guillory.
“We were able to execute and our hitting coach Justin Reed is one the best hitting coaches in the state,” McCall said. “Whenever I took over the job nobody thought we could do this. Last time St. Joe won was under D.M. Howie and this one is for him and all of St. Joe.”
Josh Basil (5-3) took the loss on the mound for East Union. He also had two hits to lead the Urchins (29-8), the two-time defending 2A state champions, offensively.