In 2006, Newton County baseball won the 3A state title. Since then, they've moved up a class but haven't had much luck – until now.
The Cougars will take on Lewisburg in Jackson in the Class 4A State Championship series. The battle for the crown will open tonight, with first pitch set for 7:30 p.m. at Trustmark Park.
Head coach Wyatt Tullos said his team is ready and will keep chugging along in hopes of making its hard work pay off.
“Right now we're playing pretty well, we've been hot of late,” he said. “We just want to go out and continue doing that, do what got us to this point. Like I've been telling the guys, don't change what you've been doing, just try to do it better today than you did it yesterday.”
Tullos coaches to the the fundamentals. He said success is about the small things and always striving to be the best, which is done through practice.
“The goal is to be perfect,” Tullos said. “You know you understand that you are never actually going to achieve it, but if you don't shoot for the highest you'll have to settle for the lowest.”
At 28-7, the Cougars finished second in District 5 4A after losing the last series of the season to West Lauderdale. Both teams had entered the final matchup undefeated, with the conference title on the line.
“It was a defining moment,” Tullos said. “I told the team we had two options. We could lay down, or we could get back up and be a better team next week. When it's good, everything is easy, but it's the bad times that define who you are.”
And a better team they turned out to be as Newton County swept its way through the playoffs, topping Richland, Greene County, Germantown and St. Stanislaus.