South Mississippi has long been a high school baseball hotbed and the 2019 season was no different with many of the state’s top players taking the field in the state’s southernmost six counties.
St. Martin (27-9) stood out as the lone Coast team to reach the state championship round and Biloxi rolled to an impressive 29-5 campaign before coming up short against the Yellow Jackets in the Class 6A South State title series.
Here’s a look at the full All-South Mississippi Team for the 2019 campaign:
Player of the Year — Colten Keith, Biloxi junior 3B/P
After being labeled the best player in Arizona by MaxPreps headed into his junior year, Colten Keith didn’t disappoint after making the move to Mississippi. Keith was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-USA honors from USA Today. Keith, who can also play shortstop, lined up at third base when he wasn’t pitching. He hit .527 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. As a relief pitcher, Keith was 6-0 with a 1.47 ERA and nine saves in 16 appearances. He struck out 74 and walked nine in 38 innings. Keith has verbally committed to Arizona State and is sure to get some looks as a Major League prospect.
Coach of the Year — Kary Bridges, St. Martin
St. Martin baseball emerged as a contender in Kary Bridges’ third year on the job as he helped lead the Yellow Jackets to their first South State title by sweeping a talented Biloxi squad in the Class 6A series. St. Martin finished 27-9, falling to two-time defending Class 6A state champion DeSoto Central in the state title round. Bridges, a former Ole Miss standout and minor league player, has also served as a head coach at Oak Grove and Water Valley.
Fan’s Choice Player of the Year — Trevor McDonald, George County senior P
McDonald arrived on the scene as a Major League prospect in 2019 with his fastball reaching into the mid 90’s. He finished with a record of 8-2 with a 1.78 ERA in 12 appearances. He struck out 105 and walked 15 in 51 innings. The South Alabama signee decided to forego college and sign with the San Francisco Giants, who took him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.
2019 All-South Mississippi Team
Jordan Belsome, Poplarville sophomore P — 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 29 walks in 55 1/3 innings.
Kobe Cook, Long Beach junior 3B/P — .477 batting average, 18 RBIs, 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA.
Branson Davis, East Central senior P/OF — 7-0, 0.65 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 10 walks in 54 innings. He also hit .290 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs. (Pearl River CC signee)
Austin Dean, Pearl River Central senior RHP — 8-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 12 appearances. He hit .316 with two homers and 24 RBIs. Class 5A First-Team All-State. (Pearl River CC signee)
D.K. Donaldson, West Harrison junior 1B — Hit. 413 with seven homers and 33 RBIs. Class 5A Second-Team All-State.
Hayden Dunhurst, Pearl River Central senior C — Hit .396 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs. Drafted in the 37th round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies. Class 5A First-Team All-State. (Ole Miss signee)
R.J. Fletcher, St. Martin senior C — Hit. 387 with four homers and 44 RBIs. Class 6A First-Team All-State (East Central CC signee)
Leo Harris, St. Martin senior SS/P — Hit .318 with 41 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he finished 6-5 with a 2.76 ERA and two saves in 14 appearances. (UAB signee)
P.J. Harrison, Harrison Central senior center fielder/pitcher — .358 batting average, 2 homers, 33 runs scored, 23 stolen bases in 24 tries; 5-4 as a pitcher with a 3.52 ERA. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC signee)
Logan Ledet, Picayune junior P — 6-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 14 appearances. He struck out 83 and walked 24 in 59 innings. Class 5A First Team-All State.
Brendan McCauley, Harrison Central junior 2B — .370 batting average, 34 runs scored, 25 stolen bases in 25 tries
Leif Moore, St. Martin senior P/SS — Finished 10-2 with a 1.11 ERA in 12 starts this year. In 76 innings, he struck out 124 and walked 13. Class 6A First-Team All-State. (Pearl River CC signee)
Mitch Murrell, Ocean Springs senior RHP — 3-2 with a 0.71 ERA in nine appearances. He struck out 88 and walked 20 in 49 innings. Second-Team Class 6A All-State. (Ole Miss signee).
Carson Paetow, Vancleave junior OF — .430 batting average, 5 HR, 36 RBIs, 14 stolen bases. Second-Team Class 4A All-State.
Tate Parker, West Harrison senior RHP/OF — Hit. 500 with seven homers and 34 RBIs. As a pitcher, finished 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine games. Class 5A First-Team All-State. (Dallas Baptist signee)
Conner Platt, Biloxi senior OF — .417 batting average, 42 runs scored, 20 stolen bases, Class 6A First-Team All-State.
Trace Rhodes, St. Stanislaus senior OF — Hit .396 with 22 RBIs, 44 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. Class 4A First-Team All-State.
Nick Skaggs, Biloxi senior OF/P — 6-2, 2.85 ERA in 12 games; hit .385 with four homers and 42 RBIs. Class 6A Second-Team All-State. (Pearl River CC signee)
Brennen Study, St. Martin senior 3B — Hit .393 with three homers and 35 RBIs. He was also 3-0 with a save and a 1.53 ERA in seven pitching appearances.
Logan Tanner, George County senior RHP/C — 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 12 games. He struck out 91 and walked 29 in 47 innings. At the plate, he hit .367 with three homers and 30 RBIs. Class 6A First-Team All-State (Mississippi State signee)
Kolin Thompson, Resurrection senior OF — Hit .407 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. Class 1A First-Team All-State. (Southwest Mississippi CC signee)
Brady Tynes, Poplarville junior 2B/3B — .500 batting average, HR, 29 RBIs.
Jaden Walley, D’Iberville junior IF — .451 batting average, 17 RBIs, 20 stolen bases. (Holds Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Southern Miss offers in football).
Beckett White, Gulfport senior C/P — .365, 12 doubles, 30 RBIs, 3-2 with 4.36 ERA in nine appearances. Class 6A Second-Team All-State. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC signee)
Taylor Woodcock, West Harrison senior SS — Hit .445 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs. Class 5A First-Team All-State. (Pearl River CC signee)
Collin Young, Resurrection senior infielder — Hit .529 with 5 homers, 14 doubles, 22 RBIs and 49 runs scored. Class 1A First-Team All-State.