PEARL — All preparations are complete, the teams have arrived and now it’s game day.
The MHSAA Class 3A State Championship Series begins today as North Half Champion Booneville faces South Half Champion Magee. Game one is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the first pitch following the conclusion of the opening game of the 1A State Championship Series between TCPS and Resurrection Catholic.
“We’re ready to get out on that field and play for a championship,” said Blue Devils sixth-year Head Coach Kevin Williams. “Our guys are ready, we have worked hard for this all season and it’s time to make it happen.”
Williams added, “Before last year, when COVID ended the season early, we had been to the North Half several years in a row, twice against North Pontotoc. We have 12 seniors who were a part of those teams and are anxious to take the next step and win the state title.”
The two squads have similar traits in some areas but are polar opposites in others. Such is the case when it comes to the batting average. The Trojans are hitting a collective .397 as a team, and have three players in the starting lineup checking in at over .500.
In contrast, Booneville bats over .100 points lower with a collective .283 team average. Jackson McCoy is the only Blue Devil starter over .500 but holds the top overall BA at .542.
Magee has belted 18 home runs as a team, led by 12 from Brennon McNair with 10. Booneville has 11 round-trippers, led by six from McCoy.
Both clubs boast strong starting pitching. The Devils own a team ERA of 2.60 compared to 2.90 for the Trojans. Magee’s top two starters have sub-two ERA’s while day three starter (if needed) Jordan Magee comes in at 3.56.
Williams will have the luxury of having the choice of three hurlers with sub-three ERA’s, paced by McCoy at 0.65. Hayden Donahue and Ben Davis are at 2.18 and 2.90 respectively.
The MHS pitching staff has recorded 253 strikeouts in 32 games compared to 241 for BHS in 34 contests.
Both squads are effective on the base path with a combined 234 steals with Magee leading the way with 129.
In a polar opposite stat, Magee averages scoring 10 runs per contest, allowing on 3.5. Booneville is not quite as explosive, but still effective, averaging right at seven runs per contest and giving up an average of four.
Both state finalists also share one other similarity: both lost the last time they played for a state championship – the Trojans in 2019 and the Blue Devils in 1999.
The Daily Corinthian, along with our sister publication The Banner-Independent in Booneville, will have full game stories and photos from the Booneville/Magee 3A state championship series.