BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Vancleave Bulldogs baseball team was honored before the Shuckers game on Tuesday. Vancleave captured the 4A State Championship in Pearl by sweeping New Hope on May 18th.
It was a Cinderella season for the Bulldogs under first-year head coach Daniel Best, the former Southern Miss pitcher. Vancleave won 27 of their last 29 games and ran off 18 straight to claim the 4A State Championship.
Coach Best said, "We started 2 and 5 and a lot of people don't remember that. We started off kind of rough, but we played good competition and we were in the ballgames and we told them to play loose. Once we figured out how to win close games we became a good team."
Best says the pitching duo of Bailee Hendon and Hayden Robb played a major role in winning state. Robb, a Mississippi Gulf Coast signee posted 8 wins and 2 losses with a 1.83 ERA. Hendon went 11 and 0 on the mound with a 0.67 earned run average. The Jones County Community College signee says Louisiana Tech has shown interest. Hendon also excelled at the plate. He batted .519 with 5 home runs and 34 RBI.
Hendon said, "I love hitting. I like playing center field. Pitching is alright but my strong suit, I like hitting.
Hendon was a special high school player and he'll get his shot to prove his baseball talents at Jones County Community College with hopes of earning a Division One scholarship. He says besides Louisiana Tech, some schools have mentioned that a scholarship could become available after the 2018 Major League Draft.