Resurrection has won 17 straight games on the diamond entering Tuesday’s Class 1A state championship series against West Union.
But that number won’t sit well with the defending state champion Eagles if they don’t take two more victories this week.
The meeting will be the first ever in baseball between RCS and their opponent from West Myrtle, Miss., which is also known as the Eagles. West Union High is located about 15 miles of New Albany.
Resurrection is playing in its third consecutive Class 1A state championship series, while this marks the second-ever trip for the Eagles of North Mississippi after falling to Vicksburg St. Aloysius in 2009.
“Getting back to the state championship for the third straight season is just a testament to our players and staff and to all the hard work and determination that they have put into this program,” first-year RCS head coach Aron Frederic said. “I mean that’s not easy to do no matter what classification you’re in. But it’s certainly a special feeling to be back in Pearl and playing for another gold glove.”
In fact, RCS is one of only two of the 12 teams in six different classifications to advance back to the third consecutive season, along with the Urchins of East Union in Class 2A.
West Union stands an impressive 28-4 on the season, and has won eight out of nine playoff games this season heading into Trustmark Park. West Union has knocked off Falkner (12-0, 14-4), Ingomar (19-0, 15-8), Biggersville (6-8, 9-2, 8-6) and Vardaman (13-3, 12-2).
Head coach Ashley Russell’s squad has only one senior, C.J. Shirley, and he came up big in game two of the Class 1A North State finals as he drove home a pair of runs to cap off a three-run sixth inning for the Eagles as they took that 12-2 “Mercy rule” win over Vardaman.
“We’ve been here several times and come up short,” Russell said. “In ‘09, we made it down there, and 14 years is a long time, and this is just huge for our school, our community, our former players and our current players. I couldn’t be prouder of what we accomplished,” Russell told Brendan Farrell of The Northeast Daily Journal after that win.
West Union is led by Shirley, catcher Greer Manning; pitcher/infielder Grant Martin and infielder/pitcher Jon Grey Morrison.
Included in that stretch of 17 straight wins for Frederic’s convocation of Eagles are eight straight postseason wins. In fact, dating back to last season, RCS has now won 14 consecutive postseason games and 18 out of their last 19.
The Eagles have gotten production from numerous individuals this season, including pitcher/outfielder Cole Tingle who is an East Mississippi Community College signee, speedy outfielder Max Askew who is a Miss. Gulf Coast signee, infielder Walker Frederic; catcher Luke Schnoor and pitcher/outfielder Levi Foshee as well as first baseman Nicholas Watts among others.
Resurrection has gotten back to the state finals by sweeping West Tallahatchie (19-0, 7-0), Sebastopol (11-5, 11-4), Enterprise-Lincoln 2-0 (5-2, 7-4) and Ethel 2-0 (9-1, 12-2).
“We’ve got six seniors, and we knew coming into the season that we had some experience back and we thought we had a few new guys that would blend in well also,” Frederic concluded. “We’ve really just focused more on working on ourselves and getting better as the season went on. We played a pretty tough non-region schedule and I think that helped a lot as well.”