As one of the more underrated players on the 2018 Hattiesburg Tigers team, senior Jay Reedy was the one who got the 5A State Championship started on a good note. Facing Bryce Brock, Lewisburg’s Mississippi State signee, he worked a full-count walk to start the game.
While he’d eventually get thrown out on a fielder’s choice on the base paths, his walk rattled the Patriots’ pitcher and it started a three-run rally to jump up quickly in Game 1. Because of that, Hattiesburg never trailed in the series en route to the sweep to be crowned 5A State Champions.
“Basically, my coaches and teammates wanted me to start the game strong by getting on base,” Reedy said. “We started strong by stepping on their necks and scoring early. Going through my mind, I was going to do what it took to get on.”
He finished the series with just one hit in the two games, but he worked three walks in the series and scored three times.
It must be fun for Reedy to bat leadoff when he has two MLB Draft prospects, Joe Gray and Dexter Jordan, behind him on top of future college players, A.J. Stinson and Kam Wells. If Reedy gets on base in front of those hitters, he’ll most likely score.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in them, so I feel like once I get on it builds their confidence up to hit the ball and score me.”
That’s exactly what a leadoff man is supposed to do – get on base. However, it wasn’t like Reedy was in that role all season long. The Hattiesburg coaches moved him into the role during the postseason run, and it worked.
“After we lost the first game to South Jones and we were down (in Game 2), we were telling ourselves that we weren’t going to go out like this,” Reedy said. “We’ve been working hard for a state championship, so we dug down deep and did what it took to lead one.”