New Hope, Oak Grove both are state champs

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Hope and Oak Grove both captured state baseball championships over the weekend.

Both the Class 5A and Class 6A championship series were decided in three games at Trusmark Park in Pearl.

West Jones, who eliminated Pearl River Central in the Class 5A South State semifinal round, saw its improbable run to its first ever state title come to an end at the hands of defending state champion New Hope.

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New Hope scored six runs in the first inning and cruised to an 11-0, five-inning victory against West Jones to take the best-of-three series.

New Hope (32-4) won its seventh baseball state championship and repeated as champions for the first time in program

The Trojans beat Pascagoula for the state title last season.

New Hope threw a four-hit shutout Friday at West Jones in a 3-0 win that evened the series. The Mustangs failed to score in the final 12 innings of the series, after winning game one 5-4 Thursday.

“We played in the final high school baseball game of the season,” West Jones coach Joey Ward, whose team finished third in Region 5-5A, said. “I am so proud of our kids for that. They persevered and overcame so often throughout the season when things could have gone the other way. They kept battling and believing. We saw the complete arsenal from New Hope. We saw everything. We saw why they have won a championship two straight seasons.”

• Meanwhile, Oak Grove beat Desoto Central in three games as well to win its second Class 6A state title in three seasons.

The Warriors, who also won the Class 5A state football champinship this past season, became the first team in Mississippi’s largest classification since Tupelo in the 1992-93 school year to win state titles on both the gridiron and the diamond.

In Class 4A, West Lauderdale swept Purvis to take the title.