LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - George County battles Madison Central 4 p.m. Wednesday... game one of the best-of-three championship finals at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
The Rebels almost ended their State Baseball Championship drought last season, before falling to Oxford in the Class 5A state finals.
The Rebels are back gunning for the Class 6A State championship this year...19 years after claiming their last state baseball title.
Rebels head coach Brandon Davis was on the last George County baseball team that captured the 1997 4A State title.
He was the starting catcher, shown here in the deciding game that beat Northwest Rankin.
Davis was interviewed after the big win.
In the 1997 interview Davis said, "We played together as youngsters and come together in high school. We've been playing together for four years and never gave up. All season long we never gave up."
Rebels pitching coach Tim Davis, is the cousin of head coach Brandon Davis. Tim posted 6 wins and 1 loss on the 1997 State Championship team. He says the coaching staff daily reminds this year's team on how they won it all 19 years ago.
"We try to talk to them about how we went about it, "stated Davis. "How much heart it takes. How much work it takes and try to instill that in them every single day."
Head coach Brandon Davis says he built this year's team differently to be more effective at the plate.
Davis said, "We hit 18 home runs as a team last year. we had guys who could hit the ball out of the yard. You get to Trustmark and it really doesn't matter because it's so big and this year's team has been put together more along the lines of small ball, more base hits."
Jathan Staton is batting .368 with 16 runs batted in. The junior says producing with runners on base has paid off.
"Everybody is getting hits when we need them and that's exactly what we need to keep on doing to get this championship, "said Staton.
Kyle Whittington has been the Rebels ace reliever. He'll be ready when his number is called on. He has 5 wins, 4 saves and a 0.15 earned run average.
He said, "Every time I come in I know what my job is, throw strikes and get ground balls, fly outs, go in there and get outs."
You can watch game one 4 p.m. Wednesday on WLOX Bounce TV. Game two is slated for 7 p.m. Thursday.