Sumrall battles defending state champion West Lauderdale

Sumrall battles defending state champion West Lauderdale
Sumrall head baseball coach Larry Knight. Courtesy: WDAM

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - Both programs have a rich tradition of winning.

In fact, Sumrall (22-7) and West Lauderdale (23-2) have won three state championships combined in the last four years – the Knights most recently in 2017 and the Bobcats in 2015.

Both teams are led by legendary coaches.

Jerry Boatner's in his final season of coaching, leading West Lauderdale to 14 state championships and the most wins in Mississippi high school baseball history (1,176) in his 44 years.

Sumrall coach Larry Knight has led the Bobcats to five state titles in 11 seasons – and hopes to add a sixth in year No. 12.

"When you go into the season, you expect to make the playoffs and hope to," Knight said. "And not just that, but make a good run. And we talk about that every time it gets to this point in time of the season. We understand that we got to really be prepared because every team we play is going to be good. Our guys I think are excited about this week."

"We just have to say hot," said Sumrall senior pitcher Garrett Robbins. "We got to keep hitting, keep playing defense, there's not really much else there is to do. We're just hoping we keep winning. I think the main thing that's going to help us is staying together as a team."

Sumrall visits West Lauderdale on Friday at 7 p.m. in the first game of a best-of-three series.