Lake High School falls in baseball 2A final fourBy JAMES PHILLIPS,
The Lake High School baseball team’s 2019 season came to an end on May 8 after making the final four in Class 2A. The team had a great year winning their district, and made a deep playoff run to the semifinals of the MHSAA Class 2A baseball playoffs. Head coach Jake Nester and the Diamond Hornets came up one playoff series short of competing for the 2A state championship after they dropped two straight games (11-1 and 7-1) to Calhoun City High School in the 2A North State Championship series.
LHS ended the regular season as district champions in Region 4 with a 7-1 district record. A team playing their best baseball at the right time can be a big factor in the Mississippi high school baseball playoffs, and the young and talented Lake Hornets did just that winning 8 of their last 11 games.
In each of the first three rounds of the playoffs, LHS found themselves in close games, even going to extra innings against Ingomar High School. Nester’s young team exhibited the resilience of a team full of upper-classman and won 6-of-7 of those games. Then the Hornets ran into eventual 2A state champion Calhoun City riding its wave of momentum as the winners of 16 straight games entering the best-of-three semifinal series. LHS lost the series 0-2, but this team can use this year’s successes as a building tool for next season when this team will return a lot of talent to the baseball diamond.
LHS finished the season with a record of 22-9, a district championship and as one of the final four teams playing in Class 2A. The Hornets’ 2019 accomplishments and playoff experience will serve them well in preparations for next season. Coach Nester’s team will only graduate two seniors and will return its leading hitter and top pitcher who are one in the same. Freshman Brady McGee led the team in hitting with a .522 batting average, 10 doubles, 7 triples and 25 RBIs. On the mound McGee pitched his way to a stellar 8-1 record, 2.03 ERA and 82 strikeouts in only 53 innings worked. Out of the 22 players on LHS’s 2019 roster 16 players were sophomores or younger this season. The team will return practically all of its core players and hitting production and will start next year with lofty expectations after falling one step short of playing for the state championship this year.
Calhoun City went on to defeat Taylorsville 2-1 in the best-of-three series to win the 2019 MHSAA Class 2A State Baseball Championship.