Pat Olmi told his team that he had redemption on his mind.
And it happened.
The Red Rebels clinched a spot in the MHSAA Class 6A state championship with 5-4 win over Oak Grove for the 6A South State championship at Southern Miss’ Pete Taylor Park on Friday night.
It will be Harrison Central’s first-ever appearance in the baseball state title series after eliminating the Warriors, the defending state champions.
“We knew Oak Grove, they’re winners, and knew they were going to come out and hit us in the mouth,” Olmi said. “We just made it through it and had some breaks go our way tonight, which hasn’t happened much.”
James Land had two hits and an RBI to lead Harrison Central (30-4).
“Those things in the past have gone against us,” Olmi said. “But good teams make their breaks.”
Oak Grove ended the Red Rebels’ season last year in the 6A South State finals.
“They’ve got a great team, no doubt about it, but we gave them a lot of runs,” Oak Grove coach Chris McCardle said. “We had guys on that could’ve scored and didn’t. You can’t beat anybody like that.”
Mark Worley had three hits to lead Oak Grove, which finished 28-5 at the plate.
Southaven 7, DeSoto Central 1
Dandy Dozen and Mississippi State signee Vance Tatum was the winning pitcher and also doubled to lift the Chargers past the Jaguars in Game 2 of the 6A North State championship series.
Tatum had 11 strikeouts on the night for the Chargers (23-8). Colin Coates took the loss for DeSoto Central (27-9).
The decisive Game 3 will be today at Southaven at 7 p.m.