PEARL — Joe Scarborough and JT Schnoor were going into the seventh grade when Johnny Olsen took over the Resurrection Catholic (33-5) baseball program in 2016.
Six years later, the senior duo helped lead the Eagles to their first MHSAA Class 1A title and send Olsen out as a champion. Olsen, who coached at Pascagoula for nearly three decades, winning a 5A title in 1996, is set to retire.
Scarborough pitched a two-hitter with six strikeouts in Resurrection Catholic’s 4-0 Game 2 victory over Biggersville (25-7) on Thursday at Trustmark Park.
Schnoor, a Pearl River Community College commitment, held Biggersville to five hits with five strikeouts in Tuesday’s 3-1 Game 1 victory.
“Our pitching speaks for itself to hold this bunch here in check like we did,” Olsen said. “We’ve done it the last month or two with our guys on the mound. They just gut it out.
“What a stage for seniors to show up on. I just can’t speak enough for all my seniors. They’ve worked ever since they were in the seventh grade to get this program to where it is. We’ve come a long way. To win 33 games in a season and top it off with a state championship is almost unimaginable for us.”
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Scarborough retired eight of the first nine batters as the Eagles settled in behind their pitching. Sophomore Luke Schnoor scored on a throwing error to first base to give Resurrection Catholic a 1-0 lead in the second, followed by an RBI single to left field from senior Connor Davis.
Meanwhile, Scarborough was still dealing.
“I was playing second base (Tuesday) and I got to see from an infielder’s perspective how their hitters swing the bat,” Scarborough said. “(I saw) how I wanted to approach them with my pitching sequences and how I really wanted to attack them on the mound. After JT comes out, he pitches a beautiful game and we get the win. I could barely sleep last night. It was like waiting on Christmas.”
The Eagles continued to add to their lead with an RBI triple from senior Miller Kay in the sixth and an RBI double from Schnoor in the seventh. Schnoor, the series MVP, finished 2-for-4 on Thursday.
There is an extra weight to winning the first title in Resurrection Catholic history after the disappointment of last season at Trustmark Park. The Eagles were swept by Tupelo Christian in the state championship last year.
“We were here last year and obviously it didn’t come out the way we wanted,” Schnoor said. “The theme the whole year is we want to get back here and win the whole thing.”
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The Eagles finished the season winning nine of their last 10 games, including Game 2 and Game 3 against Taylorsville, the defending Class 2A championship, in the state quarterfinals. However, the most important victory was sending out Olsen the right way.
“He’s been with us this whole time here,” Schnoor said. “Countless hours out on the field. For him it’s like a little going out party. It’s only right to send him out on top and that’s what we did.”
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Resurrection Catholic baseball wins first MHSAA state tournament