By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
A dozen high school baseball teams will be battling for six state titles when the MHSAA State Baseball Championship Series begin at Trustmark Park in Pearl this week.
There are four games set for each day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The if-necessary games in each best-of-three series will be scheduled for Saturday.
Eleven of the 12 head coaches for the participating schools were in attendance on Monday morning for a press conference at Trustmark Park. The 12th team in the field was not decided until Monday night when Cathedral scored in the sixth inning to take a 1-0 win over Stringer to win the Class 1A South State Championship.
There were several perennial contenders on hand on Monday, including West Lauderdale, Oak Grove, Sumrall, Purvis and New Hope. The Knights of West Lauderdale will be going for their 13th state championship in school history under the direction of legendary coach Jerry Boatner, the all-time winningest baseball coach in Mississippi.
The action begins on Wednesday at 10 a.m. with Smithville facing Cathedral in the Class 1A game, followed by a 1 p.m. contest between Eupora and Taylorsville in the first game of the 2A series. The 3A series begins at 4 p.m. between Sumrall and Kossuth, with Oak Grove and DeSoto Central closing out the day at 7 pm. in the 6A contest.
Thursday’s action has Smithville and Cathedral once again meeting at 10 a.m. while West Lauderdale and Purvis open their 4A series at 1 p.m. DeSoto Central and Oak Grove play at 4 p.m., while the 5A series begins at 7 p.m. when New Hope takes on West Jones.
Friday’s action has Eupora and Taylorsville meeting at 10 a.m., Kossuth and Sumrall playing at 1 p.m. New Hope and West Jones facing off at 4 p.m., and West Lauderdale and Purvis playing at 7 p.m.
The South champions will be the home team for the first games in the series, while the North will be home for the second game. If a third game is necessary, the home team will be decided by a coin flip immediately following the second contest.