By Robert Wilson
Back in the 1970s, Reggie Jackson was known as Mr. October his uncanny ability to perform at high level in the postseason with the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees.
If Jackson is Mr. October, Jackson Prep’s Graham Busbea is Mr. May.
For the second straight year, the senior first baseman-pitcher and Hinds Community College signee was outstanding and helped Jackson Prep to wins in the MAIS Class 6A state championship series.
Busbea hit .571 (4 for 7) with 4 runs batted in, 3 runs scored, a home run and a double and threw three scoreless innings to help Prep win its Mississippi record sixth consecutive state championship with a sweep of Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
For his outstanding performance, Busbea has been named the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Baseball Player of the Week.
Busbea had a home run and a double and scored one run with two RBIs in Prep’s 6-2 victory over MRA in Game 1. He had two hits, scored two runs, and had two RBIs and started and pitched three scoreless innings in Prep’s 13-7 victory over MRA in Game 2.
“Graham had a tremendous year for us,” Prep coach Brent Heavener said. “But what he was able to do in the state championship series was huge. He hit over .500 with a home run and four RBIs. Graham didn’t have his best stuff on the mound, but just went out there and competed, and gave us three scoreless innings to give us a chance to win.
“He has been unbelievable all season. Graham doesn’t get enough credit for what he’s been able to do defensively as well. He played first base when he wasn’t pitching and made only one error.
“Graham has a great future ahead of him and we look forward to seeing what he does at Hinds and in the future.”
Busbea allowed only two hits with five strikeouts in four innings and hit a home run to lead Prep to a 12-2 victory over Madison-Ridgeland Academy in five innings in the deciding and third game of the best-of-three series for the 6A state championship last season.
Busbea hit .510 with 31 runs scored, 35 RBIs, 12 doubles, 2 triples and 4 home runs this season. The right-handed pitcher had a 3-1 record. Busbea was a member of the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team this spring.
Busbea hit .386 with 12 doubles and 3 home runs with 27 runs scored and 29 RBIs and helped Prep to a 31-7 record, a fifth straight MAIS Class 6A state title and a No. 21 final national ranking by Perfect Game. He had a 4-0 record with a 1.62 earned run average with 21 walks and 53 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.
Busbea was a second team first baseman on the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson team last season.
Coaches can nominate their players by calling or texting Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276. Only players who play for teams in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties are eligible.