By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Next week the Nanih Waiya baseball team will face either Sebastopol or Sacred Heart on Thursday in the second round of the MHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Playoffs. This week, the Warriors will be using the bye week they earned by being region champions to get prepared for what they hope will be another deep run into the playoffs.
The last three seasons have concluded with Nanih Waiya playing at Trustmark Park in Pearl for the 1A State title. The Warriors won the championship in 2011 and 2012 and finished second in 2013, losing in a deciding game three.
“We have some pretty strong competition coming in this week to help us get ready for the playoffs,” said NW head coach Tyler Rogers. “All three of these teams are pretty good.”
The 14-4 Warriors were set to host Union on Tuesday, before entertaining Lake at 6 p.m. on Friday and Leake Central at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“We are starting some young guys and they are starting to come around,” Rogers said. “I’m looking forward to the playoffs and seeing what we can do. I think they are definitely gaining confidence in themselves.”
Last week the Warriors took a 13-2 win over homestanding West Lowndes and a 15-0 win over visiting East Oktibbeha.
Jacob Hemphill was the winning pitcher against West Lowndes, while Ben Cumberland came into the game while the Warriors were leading 3-1 and closed things out to pick up the save.
Stewart Ball mashed a triple and double to lead NW at the plate in the game, while Wyatt Ball had a double and single and Dylan Dent and Brady Jones each had doubles.
Gentry Hodge picked up the win on the mound against East Oktibbeha, striking out seven and allowing just one hit. Peyton Jones paced the winners at the plate with a triple, double and single.