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Houston County Bears complete the sweep to win GHSA 6A state championship vs. Pope

“From the beginning, this has been our goal and we've accomplished everything we set out for.” Head coach Matt Hopkins said.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Houston County Bears baseball team captured their fourth state championship title in school history. They achieved that feat after sweeping Pope High School, 8-3 and 7-4 Thursday evening at Cool Ray Field in Gwinnett County. 

Andrew Dunford twirled a gem with six strikeouts, one walk in five and a third innings. On the offensive side of things Drew Burress, the Georgia Tech commit, got it all started with an RBI double. Dunford managed to help his own cause with an RBI single in the third. The Bears cruised in the title-clinching game.

Under the direction of head coach Matt Hopkins, the 6A State Champions achieved a program record 36 wins, including a record 26 wins in the regular season, as Region 1-AAAAAA champs. They also piled up another school-best 348 runs scored to 136 allowed to finish 36-6 on the season. 

“Man, I feel good. I don't know what to tell you, it's been such a long season and to finish it out the way that we did it couldn't be more special and this was a special group,” Hopkins said. “From the beginning, this has been our goal and we've accomplished everything we set out for.”

The last time Houston County won the 6A state baseball title was in 2021 over Lassiter High School at Truist Park. Before the classification change, the Bears also won 5A state titles in 2014 and 2016.

“It's just a great feeling going back to last year when we lost against Buford. You know the first thing on our minds was making it back here and winning it all again,” Elijah Smith said. “Pope is always a tough team to play and we don't have a good history with Pope but it changed today so I'm thankful for it.”

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