Woo-hoo! It’s high school baseball playoff time in Mississippi.
If you don’t enjoy baseball, it’s alright. Well … not really. We’ll just pray for you and move on – hopefully, straight to the state championship games at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi. That’s right where the 2023 high school baseball playoff bracket concludes during the first days of June.
East Union Urchins hope to be there!
We take baseball pretty seriously here in our little corner of the world. No, baseball is not our god, but we do think He enjoys it. After all, making it “Home” safe is the object of baseball and life.
So, yes! We take our baseball seriously, and we seriously love this time of the year.
The first round of playoffs started this week, with winners of two out of three games moving on to the next round. So it goes, week by week, for four rounds of play – until teams are put out or advance to the championship round.
Mississippi high schools are currently divided into six divisions, based on school population. So, the road to Pearl is difficult for schools of all sizes. And that’s how it should be since there are few “easy” paths in baseball or life (That’s also a scriptural lesson).
And let me tell you! Anything can happen out on that diamond of dirt. Anything!
The road to those championship rings is unpredictable. A team can have the #1 college-drafted pitcher and still get put out in the first round. Or a team can be slated to lose BIG, but those guys can end up standing in the winner’s circle at Trustmark Park.
There are so many variables in every single game. The greatest variable of all is the human factor. Everyone has good days and bad ones, even high school kids. One day, a player can bat a thousand; the next day, he can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
Each game is a clean slate. It’s anybody’s game to win or lose, and that’s why I love baseball. That’s probably why it’s America’s favorite game too. Baseball reminds us that with hard work, perseverance, and teamwork, we can beat the biggest, baddest foes out there.
Really, baseball is a microcosm of life – the trials, the triumphs, and all the struggles of life, portrayed with a small, round ball and a wooden bat.
I know it’s just a game played on a chalky, dusty diamond by dirty, sweaty boys. But those boys are quickly becoming men, and I believe they’ll be better men for having played this game.
They’ll know how to dig in and fight harder when times get tough. They’ll realize that nothing in life is just about one person; what they do always impacts those around them.
Most of all, they’ll understand that everything of value is costly; life’s greatest treasures are found only by those who seek them with their whole hearts (I’m pretty sure that’s biblical too!).
So, do yourself a favor, and go watch our young Mississippi men play baseball during this playoff season. You’ll thoroughly enjoy yourself, and you might learn a thing or two about life in the process.
You’ll definitely come away more hopeful about our future because Mississippi’s young people are strong and resilient. They are champions!
For more information on Mississippi high school baseball playoffs, follow the “baseball/bracket” tab at misshsaa.com.