Baseball piles on another championship

From Issue 10

The team rushes the field, creating a dog pile on top of Will Gibbs, the closing pitcher, after the final out of the championship series.
Team members hold the championship trophy aloft after closing out a season for the record books.

On May 13, Jackson Prep’s varsity baseball team captured its fourth consecutive state title after defeating MRA in the championship series. Prep had an impressive regular season record of 31-3, and carried the momentum from the regular season into the playoffs.

In the semifinals, Prep faced Jackson Academy. In game one, senior Ole Miss signee Riley Maddox pitched an incredible game, allowing just three hits in 7.0 innings while racking up twelve strikeouts. He also had a great day at the plate, as he had three of Prep’s six hits and drove in two runs. Cy Craig also had a good day at the plate, going 2-3 with a stolen base. Prep wound up winning game one 4-0 and positioned itself nicely for game two.

In game two, Mason Nichols pitched an incredible game. The senior Ole Miss signee pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight while only allowing one hit. Offensively, Eli Berch was able to go 2-3 at the plate, driving in two of Prep’s three runs. Jeffrey Ince and Cy Craig also had big doubles off the centerfield wall. While Prep was not able to do much offensively in game two, timely hits and dominant pitching led to a big game two win by a score of 3-0, clinching a spot in the championship series.

In the state championship series, Prep drew a rematch against another cross-town rival in MRA. MRA had won two of three against Prep in the regular season, but was forced to forfeit one of the wins due to the breaking of a rule, so Prep technically won the regular season series but wanted to leave no doubt of who the better team was. In game one, Riley Maddox did it all for the Patriots. At the plate, he went 2-3, hitting a home run as well as a double off the wall. He also showed out on the mound, where he pitched a complete game shutout while only giving up one hit. The good Patriots went on to win game one of the series by a score of 3-0.

In the second game, Prep senior Mason Nichols was on the mound and pitched a great game. Nichols went five innings while only giving up one run. The star of the championship however was senior Mississippi State signee Jeffrey Ince. Ince was 2-2 at the plate, including a massive three-run homerun in the fourth inning to break the game wide open. Prep went on to win game two 5-1 and clinch its fourth consecutive state championship. The Patriots finished their season with an incredible record of 35-3, cementing their legacy as arguably the best baseball team in the history of the school.