June 26, 2012 10:07:18 PM
The temperature is not the only place where things are beginning to heat up.
In Dizzy Dean south state tournament action Thursday, the Columbus 9-year-old all-stars begin their postseason quest by taking on Saltillo.
The nine-team, double-elimination tournament will take place in Eupora. Teams advancing will qualify for the overall state tournament.
Also locally, Starkville will take on the Grenada Youth League in another 6 p.m. start.
"We are excited about playing," Columbus head coach Andy Brown said. "This team is fundamentally sound. They play with a lot of heart and determination, we are looking forward to competing."
In preseason tournament action, the Columbus squad finished second at the Starkville Longhorns Baseball Bash Tournament.
In Starkville, the Columbus squad defeated the Starkville Recreational all-star team, 17-8 and then beat Louisville twice, 7-6 and 11-3, before falling to Grenada 10-8 in the championship game.
Each year, the Longhorns Bash serves as a tune-up activity for the south state tournament a week later.
"It was really good to get some experience like that," Brown said. "The kids really fought the whole weekend. They showed a lot of heart and determination against Grenada.
"In that game, we were down big before scoring eight runs in the final inning. Seven of those eight runs were earned."
Columbus team members include Antwaan Roland, Kameron Harcrow, Drew Brown, Hays Lumsden, Adam Adair, Luke Altmyer, Zac Butler, K.J. Smith, Richard Guy, Jackson Conn, C.J. Crawford and Cooper Odom.
Brown is assisted by Chad Altmyer, Jeremy Lumsden and Barry Harcrow,
Scott is sports copy editor and reporter