Prep baseball teams in the “Southern Six” have won 26 state championships on the diamonds in six different classifications since the Mississippi High School Activities Association began a state-wide playoff system in that sport in 1950.
But never before have four teams from the three Mississippi Gulf Coast counties played for a state title in the same year until now.
Next week when the state championship round begins in six different brackets at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Gulfport (Class 6A), East Central (Class5A), St. Stanislaus (Class 3A) and Resurrection (Class 1A) all will be in action and vying for a state crown.
Only three times in history has more than one squad in the “Southern Six” won state titles in the same year, and that all happened in the past 15 years with the last time as recently as last year when both East Central and RCS won.
The other occasions for double title winners were in 2010, when Long Beach won the Class 5A crown and St. Stanislaus captured the title in Class 4A. Also, 15 years ago, in 2008, Ocean Springs won it all in Class 5A and East Central did the same in Class 4A.
In the largest classification in the state, a team from the “Southern Six” has never won a state baseball championship in the 14 years that class has existed. The title won by the Greyhounds in 2008 was the last time a team from the “Southern Six” won a title in the largest classification.
Gulfport has just one state baseball title in school history, that came in 1985. The Admirals will face Lewisburg in the Class 6A state finals next week starting Tuesday night at 7 .p.m. The MHSS is implementing a 7A classification next year for the first time ever.
In Class 5A, including that OSHS crown in 2008 and ECHS last season, the “Southern Six” has won eight state crowns over the past 38 years since the MHSAA went from four classifications to five. The others came from Pascagoula (2012, 1996), Pearl River Central (2017), LBHS (2010), Niloxi (1988) and the aforementioned GHS title in 1985. East Central faces Saltillo in Pearl next week beginning Wednesday night in Class 5A play.
In Class 4A, Six “Southern Six” squads have won state titles since 1985 when that classification was implemented by the MHSAA. Those came from Vancleave (2018), SSC (2015, 2010), East Central (2008) Picayune (2002) and George County (1996).
In Class 3A, no team from the “Southern Six” has ever won a state title. Although Greene County did win the state crown in 2003. St. Stanislaus will try and become the first and make history facing defending Class 3A state champ Amory beginning next Tuesday afternoon in Pearl
Also, in the past 38 years since the MHSAA went to a five-class system before moving to six in 2010, no “Southern Six” team has won a state title in Class 2A.
However, when the MHSAA only consisted of four classes (AA,A, BB and B) from the mid-1950’s-1985, six “Southern Six” teams won state titles in AA including Pascagoula (1983, 1968, 1967)), Ocean Springs (1982) and Biloxi (1970, 1965).
Also, Pascagoula would have almost assuredly added a title in the final year of AA in 1984 before the playoffs were halted due to a legal decision.
Class 1A has seen four state titles for “Southern Six” squads. In addition to Resurrection last season, East Central did it in 1981 and the now merged St. John’s (2007) and Mercy Cross (1990) accomplished the feat also. Resurrection faces West Union beginning next Tuesday afternoon for the Class 1A state title in Pearl.
In the old BB class, St. John won it all in 1970. In Class B, Notre Dame won the title in 1980. Notre Dame also won back-to-back titles in something classified as “BB-B” in 1960 and 1961. That crown in 1960, 10 years after the MHSAA awarded its first-ever state baseball championship, marked the first ever by a Gulf Coast team.