Baseball looks to continue winning ways

From Issue 8 (updated)

Prep’s baseball season is in full swing with spring’s warmer weather. With a record of 14 wins and 5 losses, the Patriots have rolled through their tough non-conference schedule. The team has played high-quality competition, facing four schools from the 6A public school classification. Although they lost by slim margins to Tupelo and George County, the team conquered the Warren Central Vikings 3-2 and the Clinton Arrows 5-4.

The Patriots’ success is not the only thing generating attention. Prep home games have attracted both fans and professional scouts who wish to see Jerrion Ealy, a very highly touted high school prospect. It is not uncommon to see dozens of inconspicuously dressed scouts holding stopwatches and notepads to evaluate the star center fielder. When asked if he feels pressure from being in the spotlight, Ealy replied, “No, I just try to have fun out there. For me, it’s as simple as hitting the ball hard and getting down the line fast.” The two-sport star has benefitted from his simplified approach and is being recognized by evaluators on the highest level as a result. A small taste of the major leagues can be found on game days in Flowood.

\At the beginning of spring break, the team took a trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to play in the Battle at the Beach tournament. They defeated Lake Cormorant High School and Memphis University School, better known as MUS, in the coastal tournament.  After the Battle at the Beach, the Patriots returned back home to play two more non-conference games before the beginning of their district schedule. The team opened up conference play against their rival Jackson Academy. After winning the series’ first game, the Patriots dropped the next two to the Raiders. However, Prep regained their form in a tough away game versus PCS. With the aid of Riley Maddux’s dominant shutout pitching performance, the squad evened their conference record to 2-2.

Coach Heavener, when asked about the early stages of district play, says, “I feel good about it. We have hit and pitched well, and if we can improve our fielding, we will be in a good position.” He added, “Carrying our momentum from the non-conference games into the district games will be important to our success.” The Patriots’ record in their district determines their seeding in the state tournament at the end of the season.  If the team can prove their resiliency in the coming weeks, they will be in a good position to win the baseball program’s 19th state championship.

Senior Bryson Weeks mid-pitch during a game. Photo courtesy of Beverly Oden.