The Mississippi High School Activities Association rolled out championship banners for six baseball teams baseball team last week, bringing the 2018-19 athletic year to an end.
Only one of the six baseball series at Trustmark Park in Pearl needed a third game. Calhoun City rebounded from an 8-1 loss to Taylorsville in the first game with 10-2 and 14-4 victories for the 2A championship.
Tashone Corbitt was 7 for 13 in the series for Calhoun City and was the winning pitcher in the decisive game, leading the Wildcats to their first state title.
CLASS 6A – Strong pitching enabled Desoto Central to repeat as champion with 3-1 and 5-0 victories over St. Martin. In the opener, Cade Smith pitched a two-hitter and retired 20 of the last 21 batters, 10 by strikeouts. Three pitchers combined for a five-hitter in a 5-0 victory for the championship.
Desoto Central (34-3) lost only one game to a Mississippi opponent, a 7-6 setback against Northwest Rankin in the North State final. The Jaguars are ranked seventh in the country by the website MaxPreps.
CLASS 5A – West Jones (29-5) easily won its first championship with 10-1 and 7-2 victories over Lafayette. Kris Riley had three doubles, three RBIs and was the winning pitcher in the clinching game.
CLASS 4A – New Hope (27-5) overcame a 7-2 deficit for an 8-7 victory over Sumrall in the first game, then clinched its eighth state title with a 4-0 victory behind the two-hit pitching of Ryan Burt. Burt had a double in the bottom of the seventh of the first game and scored the winning run on a single by Stallone Shelton.
CLASS 3A – After losing to St. Andrew's in the championship series a year ago, North Pontotoc (22-8) won its first title with 12-2 and 9-1 victories over Magee. Ty Robinson had six RBIs for the Vikings in the first game and James Clay McGregor pitched a three-hitter in the clincher.
CLASS 1A – The third time was the charm for Smithville. After losing championship series to Nanih Waiya the past two years, Smithville won the title with 4-2 and 1-0 victories over Stringer. Smithville senior Jared Johnson closed out his high school career on the high note. He pitched a two-hitter with eighth strikeouts in the first game and homered in the seventh for the only run in the second game.
It was the second championship for Smithville (21-7).