Saints take title

Published 12:34 am Friday, May 13, 2011

Eric Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Trinity’s Kent King, left, congratulates Jake Winston after hitting a home run during their game against Winona Christian High School Thursday evening at the Huntington baseball field in Ferriday.

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal baseball team gave its supporters reason to celebrate Thursday night by accomplishing a feat never reached in school history.

The Saints pummeled Winona Christian 10-1 in game 2 of the MAIS Class A state championship series to take home the school’s first-ever state title in baseball.

“It’s a wonderful feeling, the players deserve it,” Trinity head coach Mitch Ashmore said. “They played well all year and competed at the highest level they could compete at. My contribution was very little, a lot of people could have guided this ship.”

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After taking game one of the series 9-0 Tuesday night, Trinity got its first scare of the series in the top of the first inning when Winona Christian’s C.J. Hodges scored on a throwing error by Saints’ catcher Chase Patrick. Starting pitcher Givonni Dent then hit Michael Rawson with a pitch, but got Brady Chambley to ground out to end the inning.

That would be the last time Trinity was threatened.

The Saints answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first.

Kent King drew a one-out walk and Jake Winston followed with a double. Then Dent scored King on a single, Winston scored on a Trevor Faust RBI ground out and Dent came around on a Scott Turner RBI single.

Trinity added two more runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Sky Logan followed by an RBI fielder’s choice by Turner.

The Saints kept scoring in the fifth and sixth innings with Winston doing the major damage.

In the fourth Winston came to bat with King on and one out in the inning and lined a home run over the right-center field fence to give Trinity a six-run cushion.

The next inning Winston came up with two on, after Caleb Gillespie walked and Daniel Dunaway singled, and did the same thing to cap the scoring off.

Winston, a junior, finished the game 3-for-4 with two home runs, one double, five RBIs and three runs scored.

“It feels great (to hit two homers in the state championship game), I couldn’t do it without my teammates getting on base,” Winston said. “Words cannot describe the feeling (when I made contact), it was absolutely beautiful.”

While Winston provided much of the offensive firepower for the Saints, Dent shut down Winona’s bats to maintain Trinity’s comfortable lead.

Dent went all seven innings giving up just one unearned run on three hits and five walks. He struck out five Winona batters.

“I felt pretty good,” Dent said. “I felt dominant. I knew the game was in my hands and I knew I had a good defense behind me so I just had to throw strikes.”

Dent also had a pretty solid night at the plate himself, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Trevor Faust also added a single to the Saints’ nine-hit effort.

When the Saints’ players hoisted the state championship trophy, they were not just celebrating a title, but a complete domination of the District 6-A playoffs.

Trinity swept each of its four series by a combined score of 103-14.

Ashmore said the title accomplishes a goal that the Trinity program has had for years.

Winston said this title would always be special.

“(I’m really glad) to be a part of it,” Winston said. “It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”