St. Andrew's Sam Roffwarg shares the Class 3A trophy with Saints fans on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in the MHSAA State Baseball Championships at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
St. Andrew's Sam Roffwarg shares the Class 3A trophy with Saints fans on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in the MHSAA State Baseball Championships at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
The fourth time is the charm for Mark Fanning as he led the St. Andrews Episcopal Saints to the MHSAA 3A state title in baseball, their first state title in 33-years.

Fanning has spent 21-years as the Saints’ head coach and took the team to the state title in 2001, 2009 and 2016. Senior pitcher Sam Roffwarg said they wanted to win one for the coach that has built St. Andrews Baseball.

“I feel especially happy for our coach because out of anybody on our team he deserved it the most,” Roffward said. “All the work we put in, he was always in the back our minds. We have to win it for coach Fanning. It is an amazing feeling and it feels amazing to do it for our coach.”

Fellow senior pitcher C.J. Carron reiterated what Roffwarg said.

“Coach Fanning is a great coach and has built a really great program,” Carron said. “He won a lot over the years but never had that state championship. So even though it meant a lot to us, it meant just as much if not more to win one for coach.”

Baseball is the sixth sport for St. Andrews to win a state title in this academic year, a school record. They also won a school record 33-games and are the only school in Mississippi this year to win over 30 games.

Fanning credited the seniors with their leadership this past season. He said he is happy to win the state title but sad that this group of players will never be together to play for St. Andrews again.

“All these personalities and all their skills put together made a pretty tough team to beat,” Fanning said. “Along with our juniors, these seniors were a good blend of talent and skill and confidence and is definitely a group we are going to miss.”

The Saints only lost one game in the playoffs. In game one of the semifinals, Seminary High School run ruled the Saints 11-1 in five innings. Roffwarg said a lot of teams would give up after that but their mentality that they could still win the series.

“Our goal was always to trust Mark (Fanning),” Roffwarg said. “We always knew we could get there and we never gave up even after that big loss we had.”

Roffward said that over the years there always that team that was better than them, but this year they were the team better than everyone else.

“This year we did not think there was anyone better than us,” Roffwarg said. “The whole year we believe we could do it and were talking about winning state as seniors. We never stopped believing and as a senior it is amazing to go out on top and feel like you left your mark.”