Mississippi senior pitches 12 scoreless innings, delivers winning hit in 5-hour playoff marathon

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Looking for a clutch prep player on the diamond? You need search no farther than Kossuth, Mississippi.

Kossuth senior Josh Whittaker was a two-way star in an 18-inning win — YouTube
Kossuth senior Josh Whittaker was a two-way star in an 18-inning win — YouTube

As first noted by USA Today, Corinth (Ms.) Kossuth High pitcher Josh Whitaker turned in the performance of his career to lead the Aggies to the state tournament with a 5-4, 18-inning victory against Coldwater (Ms.) Independence High. In this case, Whitaker really was the player leading from the front, on both offense and defense.

First, the senior came on in relief and pitched the game’s final 12 innings without yielding a run, keeping the Aggies in the game after they fell behind early. Then, Whitaker took the game into his own hands by driving in the winning run in the top of the 18th, drilling an RBI single that he then made sure stood up as the game-winning hit in what turned out to be the second-longest baseball game in state history, clocking in at more than 5 hours.

Fittingly, the final Independence out was a Whitaker strikeout.

Whitaker’s heroics proved to be just the start of a magical run for the Aggies, who rolled on to capture a Mississippi Class 3A state title with a 4-0 victory against Sumrall (Ms.) High. In that state title-clinching victory, Whitaker again was a star, closing out the state title victory.

As the lone senior on the squad, Whitaker knew it was his job to step forward and take control of games in the playoffs when the team needed him. Fittingly, he did just that, and could celebrate a surprising state title as a result.

“The future is very bright,” Whitaker told the Clarion Ledger of the school’s title. “We have come a long way since my sophomore year and it is just an amazing feeling right now.”

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