Pine Belt baseball coaches excited about state title hopes

The Mississippi high school baseball championships begin Wednesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl, and today the MHSAA held a luncheon at the venue.

"You can't beat it. Nothing compares to this facility. This can't get any better for high school kids to be able to play on a field like this. It will be something they will never forget," Oak Grove head coach Chris McCardle said.

Coaches from around the state gathered with members of the media to discuss how their team's got to this point of the season and what it means to compete on the biggest stage.

"This is going to be an awesome experience and environment for our team to play in and our fans to come to a park like this, as beautiful as it is, and play for a state championship. You couldn't ask for anything better," said Purvis head coach Tony Farlow.

Farlow also commented on the tough road the Tornadoes had to the championship.

"We are really excited about the opportunity to play for one this year. We've had to beat some good teams to get here. We've had to work hard to get here. So it's good to see the kids get rewarded for their hard work."
Five teams from the Pine Belt have punched their tickets to Pearl.

That list includes Oak Grove, West Jones, Purvis, Sumrall and Taylorsville.

"This is a core group that really are good kids and they really like each other and they hang out and they work hard. They're really excited about going back," said Sumrall head coach Larry Knight.

He added that his team is hungry for the chance to prove themselves against Kossuth, the team they lost to in the 3A state championship last season.

"We're happy about going back. Last year we had a chance to go up there and did not play well. It left a bad taste in our mouth from last year and we've worked extremely hard to try and get back up there and we're excited about the chance."

Championship schedule:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
2A 1:00 Eupora vs. Taylorsville – Game 1
3A 4:00 Kossuth vs. Sumrall – Game 1
6A 7:00 DeSoto Central vs. Oak Grove – Game 1

Thursday, May 22, 2014
4A 1:00 West Lauderdale vs. Purvis – Game 1
6A 4:00 DeSoto Central vs. Oak Grove – Game 2
5A 7:00 New Hope vs. West Jones – Game 1

Friday, May 23, 2014
2A 10:00 Eupora vs. Taylorsville – Game 2
3A 1:00 Kossuth vs. Sumrall – Game 2
5A 4:00 New Hope vs. West Jones – Game 2
4A 7:00 West Lauderdale vs. Purvis – Game 2

Saturday, May 24
(Third Games / Times TBD)


Information from the MHSAA website was used in this story.