VIDEO: Oxford baseball rolls to 5A state championship
PEARL — Oxford ended its baseball season just like it began: utterly dominant.
The Chargers punctuated one of the best seasons in school history with a 9-0 win over George County on Thursday at Trustmark Park, finishing off a sweep in the title series to claim the MHSAA Class 5A state championship.
Oxford, which started the season on a 32-game win streak before suffering its only setback to New Hope in the North Half finals last week, outscored George County (22-8) 13-0 in the series and outscored its opponents 23-3 during the three-game winning streak it will carry into next season. The Chargers (35-1) finished one victory shy of the single-season school record set by the 2005 team, which won 36 when it claimed the program’s first state title.
Watch Oxford head coach Chris Baughman, who was an assistant on that ’05 team, talk about this year’s championship and a fitting end to the season in the video below.
Junior right-hander Jason Barber got the ball on four days rest after throwing 212 pitches over a five-day span in the North Half finals, but George County’s attempt to hit the Ole Miss commit was just as futile as most opposing lineups this season.
Barber retired the first nine batters he faced before his counterpart, Ian Goff, served a single into center to lead off the home half of the fourth. He scattered just two more hits and struck out seven in his eighth complete game to improve to 12-0, finishing the season without allowing an earned run in 78 innings of work.
Watch Barber talk in the following video about his season, taking the ball after a heavy workload last week and the team’s added motivation to win it all.
Oxford’s offense gave Barber all the support he needed with three runs in the first, all coming with two outs. Houston Roth plated senior outfielder Matthew Guyton with a single, and Barber gave himself a hand with a two-run double to right-center.
The Chargers, who entered the game hitting a collective .334, pounded out 10 of their 12 hits against Goff. The senior southpaw allowed every run — eight earned — in the loss before being chased after Grae Kessinger’s two-run triple in the fifth made it 8-0.
Watch Guyton talk about Oxford’s fast start and winning a championship in his final season in the following video.
Senior catcher Jack McClure went 3-for-4 with an RBI in his final game. Roth had two hits while Drew Bianco had an RBI double in the fifth. Goff added a sixth-inning double to account for two of George County’s hits.
Watch assistant coach Daniel Parrish talk about being part of “an awesome experience” and the team delivering on a mantra that’s been fueling Oxford since last season in the following video.
See Friday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Oxford’s state championship.