By Austin Bishop
Oak Grove, New Hope, West Lauderdale, Kossuth, Taylorsville, and Smithville all exited Trustmark Park in Pearl as MHSAA State Baseball Champions last week.
Only two of the best-of-three series to determine the champions in all six MHSAA classes were pushed to a third game on Saturday, and one of those was a classic.
Oak Grove’s Taylor Braley tossed a two-hitter on just one day’s rest to lead the Warriors to a 2-1 win over DeSoto Central in Class 6A. The victory gave 27-6 Oak Grove its 11th state baseball championship, while DeSoto fell to 28-10.
DeSoto had defeated Oak Grove 12-11 on Thursday to force a third game, after the Warriors had taken Wednesday’s first game 8-1.
After being stunned by West Jones 5-4 in the first game of the MHSAA Class 5A State Championship Series, New Hope bounced back to beat the Mustangs 3-0 on Friday and then take an 11-0 win in just five innings in the deciding game on Saturday.
Taylorsville swept Eupora 10-6 and 7-1 to take the Class 2A championship, while Smithville defeated Natchez Cathedral 6-1 on Wednesday and 6-2 on Thursday to sweep the 1A Championship Series and win its first baseball championship. Kossuth won the 3A Series by beating Sumrall 7-6 in 11 innings on Wednesday, then taking a 4-3 victory on Friday. It was the second consecutive year Kossuth defeated Sumrall for the state championship.
West Lauderdale, arguably the best high school baseball team in the state this season, didn’t give up a run in sweeping its Class 4A Series with Purvis. Wes Stokes tossed a three-hitter as WL won the first game 3-0 and Ryan Lane pitched a two-hitter in the 5-0 win on Friday. It was West Lauderdale’s 13th state championship in baseball.