By Robert Wilson
Pisgah’s first state baseball championship series in school history was a tough one – the Dragons were swept by East Union for the MHSAA Class 2A state title – but Pisgah coach Sam Starnes believes his team learned a valuable lesson and has sights on getting back to the state championship series again.
“I’m proud of our guys for what they did this year, making history and making to the state championship for the first time,” said Starnes, who in his three years as head coach has taken Pisgah to the state title series and also twice to the state semifinals. “I thought we did a better job today of relaxing and playing ball. I think the experience we got this year will help us in the future moving forward.”
East Union, which won its fourth state title to go with three runner-up finishes since 2016, dominated Pisgah. East Union defeated Pisgah 14-0 in five innings and sophomore right-hander and Mississippi State commitment Landon Harmon threw a perfect game in Game 1 and defeated Pisgah 9-2 in Game 2 Friday at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
Pisgah didn’t get its first hit in the series until senior outfielder and ninth-place hitter John Maxwell broke up the no-hitter in the fifth inning. Senior outfielder and Arkansas State University Mid-South signee Cotton Coleman reached on an error then senior shortstop and Southwest Mississippi Community College signee Gavin Bledsoe hit a run-scoring double and junior catcher Aiden Swales had an RBI groundout for Pisgah’s only runs of the series.
East Union won its second straight 2A state title and finished with 31-5 record and won its 10th game in a row and 21st of its last 22 games. Pisgah finished 25-10 and lost for only the third time in the last 14 games.
East Union senior second baseman and Itawamba Community College signee Jude Treadway had three hits and senior shortstop and South Alabama signee Rett Johnson and sophomore left fielder Tristian Baldwyn had two hits each.
“We made a few costly errors that hurt us, but we did put some swings on the ball offensively,” Starnes said. “Their guys made some good plays and ran some balls down in the outfield.”
Pisgah returns six key players – Swales, freshman centerfielder-pitcher Ryder White, sophomore third baseman Ian Holliday, junior first baseman-pitcher Mason Huddleston, junior pitcher Lane Lewis and sophomore pitcher Paxton Prisock – for next season.