St. Joseph coach Gerard McCall and his players celebrate with the trophy following the Bruins 5-1 win over East Union in the MHSAA 2A Baseball Championships held at Trustmark Park Saturday May 19, 2018.
St. Joseph coach Gerard McCall and his players celebrate with the trophy following the Bruins 5-1 win over East Union in the MHSAA 2A Baseball Championships held at Trustmark Park Saturday May 19, 2018.
St. Joseph Catholic School won the MHSAA 2A State Title in baseball last week by taking two of three games against East Union High School.

The Bruins finished the season 28-11 and won their first state title in baseball since 1977.

St. Joseph head coach Gerard McCall talked about what ending the 41-year championship meant to the St. Joseph community.

“To overcome that 41-year drought was very special to a lot of baseball alumni,” McCall said. “It is just great excellence return to St. Joe and it is still here. To see our boys accomplish something a lot of people said we could not do.”

The first of the three games went to 10 innings. After taking a four run lead, East Union tied the game in the seventh inning to send it to extras. Things looked grim as East Union took a one run lead in the top of the tenth but St. Joseph scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to take the game.

St. Joseph lost game two by a score of 8-5 before cruising to a 5-1 victory in game three to take home the state title.

McCall talked about the message he gave his team in between games one and two.

“The message was there was no tomorrow,” McCall said. “We have been games three and the guys knew this was a chance to seize an opportunity. Nobody is going to give it to you, you have to go out and take it.”

The Bruins won their region, going undefeated in regional play. The Bruins did all this despite the low expectations McCall said everyone had for the team going into the season. He felt his team was overlooked at the beginning of the season and proved themselves.

“I was so proud for a group of kids that a lot of people had overlooked and a lot of people did not give a chance to at the beginning of the season because they were inexperienced,” McCall said. “I was excited the message that you can overcome with hard work really came into play. I was excited for those kids and what it might mean to them in the future going forward in their lives, not just baseball.”

The Bruins were led by senior Trey Frierson, who batted for an average of .445 this past season. He was third on the team in runs batted in with 35, behind Steven Wolf who hit in 36 and Wyatt Buck who batted in 40. On the season St. Joseph had four players bat above .400 with Grayson Guilory and Andrew Sanli joining Wolf and Frierson.

On the mound they were led by Eli Carter and Josh Bailey. Both were each credited with seven wins and pitched over 66 innings. Carter had an ERA of 4.01 and Bailey had an ERA of 2.68.

Frierson said it meant a lot to this senior class to go out on top. Especially with a senior on the mound during the final game and senior catching the final out of the season.

“Mission accomplished,” Frierson said. “We have been together since the ninth grade playing baseball and the past three years have come to close to making it to state so many times. It was very special because Grayson (Guilory), he pitched a complete game and Collin (Ledbetter) caught the final out in right field.”

Frierson said after the game he told the younger guys on the team what his goal for them was next year.

“After we won, I told the guys that my goal for them next year was for them to get back and repeat for another state championship,” Frierson said.