PEARL — Two years ago Hattiesburg was 10-run ruled in a state championship game loss.
Well, they flipped the switched this time.
The Tigers used three big innings to get past Lewisburg 11-1 in five innings to claim the MHSAA Class 5A State Championship at Trustmark Park on Thursday afternoon.
It is Hattieburg’s sixth state title in school history and first since 2006.
“A lot of people thought we’d never get back to this point and this elite status,” said Hattiesburg coach Joe Hartfield. “It took a lot of work. I am just so proud of how the kids performed in the series.”
Hattiesburg (26-10) would start off scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning highlighted by RBI singles by Caleb Tart along with Dexter Jordan. Joe Gray had a RBI double.
“I’m proud of Dexter and Joe. Them two are our two best players and it was nice to see them perform at a high level,” Hartfield said. “They are both two great young men and will have great careers moving forward.”
The Tigers would add four runs in the bottom of the second, one in the third and three runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game in the 10-run mercy rule.
Gray, an Ole Miss signee, and Jordan, a Louisiana-Lafayette signee, would have three hits each to lead Hattiesburg offensively.
“Game plan was to let the pitcher elevate the ball up and we swung the bats well,” Gray said. “This is unreal. This is something you dream about your whole life and to win a state championship my senior is great. Nothing more I can ask for.”
Jordan (7-3) got the win on the mound for Hattiesburg tossing a complete game with four hits allowed, one earned run and striking out two.
“I had to pitch backwards today,” Jordan said. “Change up and curve ball was working for me, so I didn’t have to lean on my fast ball a lot.”
Dylan Bond would have a RBI double in the second for the lone Lewisburg run. Bond had two hits to lead the Patriots offensively.
Cooper Dowell (5-2) got the loss on the mound for Lewisburg (26-9).
“They outplayed us in every aspect of the game today,” said Lewisburg coach Rusty Cagle. “However this year was an amazing year and we lose nine seniors that are great people. We had an amazing group of kids and we fought hard to the end and it just wasn’t meant to be. We got a good bit back, so we can get back here next year.”