By Brandon Shields
PEARL — Ryan Burt picked the right game to have the game of his life.
Burt would pitch a complete game one hit shutout to help lift New Hope past Sumrall to claim the MHSAA Class 4A Baseball State Championship on Friday night at Trustmark Park.
It is the Trojans (27-5) eighth state title school history and first since 2014.
“At the beginning of the season Ryan had a back injury and he was struggling, but once the playoffs started, he started getting better every start and that was the best start of the season by far,” said New Hope coach Lee Boyd. “He put us on his back, and he did wonderful job to one hit a complete line up Sumrall has.”
Burt’s only hit allowed came in the fifth inning. He did walk four batters and had five strikeouts.
“I can’t thank the good Lord enough and I was not expecting this,” Burt said. “I thought I was going to have to grind and be a high scoring game. My defense played great and it was an all-around good night for New Hope.”
In last year’s 4A state title final Burt lost Game 1 1-0 to Vancleave and didn’t want that feeling again.
“Last year we were so close, and we still had that taste in our mouth and this year we wanted to get it done,” Burt said. “Coach Boyd preaches we win here at New Hope and we strive to be here and the offseason work outs and all that strived us to get here.”
The Trojans would score its first run in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly to right by Stallone Shelton.
Drew Brown would have an RBI single to center in the top of the fifth to extend the New Hope lead to 2-0.
In the sixth New Hope plate two runs on a sacrifice fly by Burt and Shelton had an RBI double down the third base line.
“Shelton has had big hits for us all season in big situations,” Boyd said. “He has worked his tail off all year to be where he’s at and couldn’t be prouder. Get to keep the tradition going of winning at New Hope and all I can say is God has been good to us.”
Shelton added he just needed to come big for his team.
“I said to myself the team needs me, and we need these runs on the board,” he said. “I was anxious and waited on a pitch and I got it and I did my job.”
Zane Berry had the lone hit for Sumrall, while Hunter Barrett took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats (32-8).