Class 4A South State preview: Vancleave Bulldogs
The district title for class 4A region 8 baseball was decided all the way back in March when Vancleave and East Central split their regular season series.
The Bulldogs would go on to win the division on a run-differential tie-breaker and they’ve been on a South State crash course with the Hornets ever since.
So far, both teams are 6-0 in the post-season after putting up equal marks of 9-1 in district play. It wasn’t always that way for the Bulldogs who lost five games in a row during the first two weeks of the season.
You wouldn’t even recognize that team now having gone 23-2 since with all but about two players dying their hair bleach blond at the start of the playoffs.
The end result is Vancleave’s first South State appearance since 2011 against the cross-town sister school. Vancleave shortstop Colton Hipp said, “Yeah, I do. We all do. Senior thing.” (“How did that come about?”) We all just decided, we didn’t know if we were going to shave our heads or bleaching them and we ended up all bleaching them.”
Vancleave head baseball coach Daniel Best said, “That’s it. Everything that’s happened up until now is out the window and we’ve got to be focused on tomorrow and Friday and Saturday, if it comes to that. We’re just focused on this series and trying to do what we’ve been doing all year and play good baseball.”
Vancleave RHP Bailee Hendon said, “It means a lot. I mean we’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid and just, you can’t make this up. We’re at South State and we’re playing against our rival.”
Vancleave even rolled in some extra bleachers for tomorrow’s game one showdown with first pitch set for 7 p.m.