Mosley baseball takes down Jefferson to advance to the 5A State Championship game
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Mosley dolphins will play one more game here in the 2021 season thanks to Tuesday’s victory over Jefferson.
Jaden Rudd is now 4-0 on the mound for the Dolphins in the playoffs, and nobody is happier that he’s a Dolphin than head coach, Jon Hudson.
“Well Jaden is the best competitor I have ever coached,” said Coach Hudson. “And when you have big games, you want to have your best competitor out there, even if he’s not your best arm. Although, Jaden probably is that as well. He’s the guy that, if we give him the baseball, if you want to have your best guy in the biggest moments, then Jaden is the guy to have the ball for us.”
“Really I was just going after every batter, just taking it one pitch, one hitter at a time,” said Rudd. “And and then that turned into one inning at a time. Then, before I know, it the game is over. I just wanted to give my absolute all for the team. I know some stuff is not going to go my way, playing this game, but a lot of it did today.”
The offensive standout for the ‘Fins on Wednesday was senior, David Hudson, who hit a grandslam in the top of the fifth, something he wasn’t expecting.\
“Well I mean when I first hit it, I looked up, and I didn’t even know that it was gone,” said Hudson. “And I’m running back and I see Nathan Kelly, pinch running for him [Coleman Rowan] come back. There’s no way that ball could go out of here. When that happened, it was just immediate chills, and going through that at bat, just trying to hit it up the middle. I was just trying to tap it and get some runs in. I did not mean for that to happen but I’m glad it did.”
The team did get up early to practice on Monday in preparation for an early start to this one, but this tournament has been on their minds since the beginning.
“All year we’ve simulated this game,” said senior, Coleman Rowan. “The game, more importantly the game tomorrow, but we’ve simulated being down here, in the final four, because we know our past. We know we’ve come down here, and we’ve let a few people down. We figured this time it’s our time. We are the best team down here, and we really feel like we can do it.”
With 10 seniors, and everything coming down to one more game together on the diamond, Coach Hudson figured if anyone could make it happen, it was this group.
“I knew when they were freshman, if they were going to work hard, that this could be one of the best teams that we’ve had here, ever,” said Coach Hudson. “And through the four years that I’ve been able to have these seniors, they have surpassed my expectations of how they’ve worked, how they prepare, and when you prepare the way they have prepared, and the closeness that this group has together, they know that they don’t do it on their own. They’ve got a bunch of guys around them that’s going to get the job done.”
Now the Dolphins get to face Archbishop McCarthy at 1 o’clock Eastern time in Wednesday’s State Championship game. Mosley fans certainly remember McCarthy. That’s the team that’s beaten Mosley twice in the championship game in 2015 and 2016 and in the semifinals in 2017.
“I came down here when I was in the fifth grade, watching my cousin play in the final four,” said Hudson. “And seeing him lose to Arch Bishop McCarthy just kind of gave me a fire, and I would just love to play them and beat them, that would be just awesome.”
“In fifth grade, I’ve been best friends with him [Hudson] since we were little,” said Rowan. “And I was around listening to his cousin, and every time I’ve seen Mosley high school gets to the final four since I was in elementary school to middle school. We know who were playing, and ever since I’ve seen the Arch Bishop McCarthy name it’s been a little dream of mine to come down here and whoop them on the butt.”
The 5A State Championship game will be played at Hammond Stadium at 1 p.m. Eastern/noon Central. The Dolphins hope to bring home their second ever state title with a win over Arch Bishop McCarthy.
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