Northwest Rankin wins thriller to claim MHSAA crown

Published: May. 29, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
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PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - The Northwest Rankin baseball redemption tour is finally complete.

The Cougars, behind a heroic performance from senior Ryan Herbison both on the mound and at the plate, outlasted Desoto Central, 3-2, in a winner-take-all game three to claim the MHSAA Class 6A crown.

“When stepped on the field in the last inning, I had dreamt of that moment,” said Herbison, who usually closes on the mound for the Cougars but got called on to start on Sunday.

“I’m glad it happened for real.”

Herbison ended up going the distance, pitching all seven inning, allowing just two Jaguar runs on seven hits. The eventual game-winning run also came off of his bat in the sixth inning, when he beat out a slow-chopper to third with two outs and the bases loaded, allowing Bryson Jones to score.

The win marks the Cougars second state championship, and first since 2005. But more importantly, Sunday’s win serves as a palette cleanser after Northwest Rankin came up short in the championship series to Madison Central a year ago.

“We just always had a resiliency to fight back,” head coach K.K. Aldridge said. “We just preach compete, compete, compete and that’s what our guys did. I’m just glad that our guys get to reap the rewards of their hard work.”

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