Warriors battle for back-to-back championships

By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal

The Nanih Waiya Warriors found themselves in a familiar position when they faced off against Greenville St. Joseph for the Class 1A State Baseball Championship this past week in Jackson.

They also were in the position of being defending champs as they took to the field at Smith-Wills Stadium. Hoping to halt the Warriors from winning back-to-back championships was the Fighting Irish of Greenville St. Joseph. The Fighting Irish, who captured the North Half Championship, were 20-2 overall in the regular season and undefeated in division play.

The first game of the series took place at 1 p.m. on May 16. The first run of the game would come in the top of the third inning from St. Joseph, giving them a 1-0 lead.

The Warriors would not answer back in the bottom of the third, and another inning would pass without either team scoring.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Warriors would make their move as they went on to put up four runs to take their first lead of the game. The big bat tandem of Hunter Swart and Tanner Dalton would come up big in the inning, with Swart hitting a two-run single and Dalton with an RBI double.

On the mound for the Warriors was their ace pitcher Colby Eaves, who took over the Fighting Irish batters with his repertoire of pitches. The Warriors would add to their lead in the sixth inning with another run. Greenville St. Joseph would manage one more run in the final inning to make the final score 5-2 Nanih Waiya.

Eaves would be a key in the Warriors’ victory, dominating by throwing a complete game with only two hits and an impressive 11 strikeouts in Game 1. Getting hits for the Warriors was Zach Hanna (2 of 2 at the plate), Stewart Ball (1 hit), Luke Rosamond (1 hit), and Ty Higginbotham (2 hits).

Only one game away from clinching their second championship, the Warriors played Game 2 on May 18 at 1 p.m. The first inning was a good one for the Warriors, scoring three runs to take an early 3-1 lead going into the second inning.

The second inning would be all Fighting Irish, as they took their first lead of the game by scoring four runs in the inning. Greenville St. Joe would have a 5-3 lead going into the third inning.

The next two innings would see the Warriors mount a comeback, scoring a run in the third and scoring four runs in the fourth to take a 8-6 lead going into the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Greenville St. Joe would get their offensive game going, putting up five runs in the inning.

The Warriors would be looking for run production in the next few innings, however, were stopped short by the Fighting Irish in both innings. The Warriors would also stop Greenville St. Joe from scoring in the last few innings, and the final score would be 11=8 Greenville St. Joe.

The series would be tied at a game apiece going into the final game. The original time and date of the game was May 21 at 1 p.m. However, the game was moved to May 22 at 4 p.m. at Smith-Wills Stadium. Stats and articles for the results of Tuesday’s game will be posted in next week’s edition of the Winston County Journal.

For the most up-to-date scores and coverage during gametime, you can visit www.winstoncountyjournal.com, and follow us on Twitter @wcjournal.