Pascagoula ready to defend the 5A State baseball title on Wednesday

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Head coach Richie Tillman has his Panthers on the verge of a repeat. Not bad when you consider that he had to replace 7 starters from the 2012 State Championship team.

Pitching coach Matt Cochran believes his staff is a big reason why Pascagoula stands 2 wins away from another 5A State Championship.

Senior Andrew Crane gets the starting nod on the mound in game one Wednesday afternoon. He's posted 9 wins in ten games with a one-point-one-six earned run average with 79 strikeouts.

Cochran said, "He mixes all three of his pitches well. He can throw them at any count and spots the ball real well. He keeps them off balance and makes fast ball better when his curve ball is on."@

Andrew said, "Going into state is like going into another game. Another game, another day. He added, "We take one game at a time. We know it's a series but we want to get it over with as soon as possible."@

Three Panthers are batting over .400, Tracy Hadley, Slater McCarty and Adam Smith.

Hadley said, "Whenever I step out on the field I have to give my all. I don't like bragging because its a team sport so I just play my part in helping the team win."

Fielding, hitting and pitching have all contributed to the Panthers success and they'll face a very good New Hope baseball team, one that has ripped off 25 wins and 8 losses.

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