FLOWOOD — Nick Monistere was one pitch from starting in Game 2 of the MHSAA Class 6A championship last season. The Southern Miss signee threw 26 pitches in relief in Northwest Rankin’s 3-2 loss to Madison Central in Game 1. 

The MHSAA limits pitchers to 25 or fewer pitches to be able to throw the next day and Monistere — the Cougars’ ace — watched Madison Central claim the state championship with an 11-1 victory on June 6. 

Nearly a year later, Monistere and Northwest Rankin are 23-2 and riding a 14-game winning streak one week ahead of the postseason. The Cougars are poised to make another deep playoff run, and this time coach KK Aldridge knows Monistere will have the chance to deliver. 

Southern Mississippi signee, Northwest Rankin's Nick Monistere, warms up before taking on the Kosciusko Whippets at NWR in Flowood, Miss., Friday, April 15, 2022.

“That was completely my mistake there and it just got away from us,” Aldridge said. “Unfortunately for him and to no fault of his own, he wasn’t able to throw.

“My goal is to get him back there. To do everything in my power to help him get back to that position.”

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