HAMILTON — Dylan Earnest had an edge on Austin Welch going into the season. The Hamilton High School senior knew he would be a fixture on the mound and in the field for the Lions. Meanwhile, Welch, a sophomore, had no idea what to expect entering the 2010 season.
Gabe Franks never doubted himself. Thanks to plenty of coaching from his father, Gary, and other age-group coaches, Franks always believed one day he would realize a goal to play baseball in college.
STARKVILLE — Pernell McPhee admitted there was some revenge laid out during Mississippi State’s football scrimmage on Saturday. Just one day after being dominated by the offense, the defensive meetings “weren’t pretty,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said following Saturday’s work.
Champions need killer instincts. It remains to be seen whether the New Hope High School baseball team will navigate through a difficult district and regional schedule to play for a Class 5A state title. But the Trojans showed Friday they are developing a knack for making opponents pay for their mistakes.
It’s only natural for a pitcher to want to keep his arm warm. But superstition rules baseball, so it shouldn’t be surprising a pitcher would accept having a cold arm in return for a little success. Based on his performance the past two nights, Blake Roberts appears ready to let his right arm withstand the elements for the rest of the season.
STARKVILLE – The search for a consistent offense continues for the Mississippi State baseball team entering a Southeastern Conference series at South Carolina. Mississippi State (14-11, 2-4 SEC) enters the series following a 5-3 loss to Ole Miss at Pearl on Tuesday, a game which the Bulldogs managed just six hits. The offsensive struggles have seen Mississippi State strike out an SEC-leading 206 times this year.
Local catfish anglers will have an opportunity this weekend to show their prowess and to make a little money at the same time. The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will visit Columbus for the first time Saturday for a qualifier that will send the top 20 teams to the Classic on Nov. 12-13 in Columbus. Anglers will fish the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Columbus in a team event that is open to anyone. Teams can be made up of one or two individuals, with one exception. A third person can accompany a team provided he or she is under 16 years of age or older than 65 years of age. There is a $200 entry fee per team.
The Hamilton High School softball team bounced back from a loss to Nettleton by shutting out Columbus 11-0 on Thursday. The Lady Lions had just six hits, but scored five runs on errors, passed balls and wild pitches. Hamilton (9-8) got a complete game from pitcher Anna Imel, who gave up two hits and struck out six in five innings.
Nick Durrah was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, and five RBIs Thursday night to lead the Columbus High School baseball team to a 13-7 victory against South Panola in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game at Columbus High. The win helped Columbus (9-8, 2-2 district) avenge a 3-2 loss in eight innings to South Panola on Tuesday. Stefan Hairston had three hits, including a triple, and Tyji Hawkins (home run), Josh Tentoni, and Jimmy Cockrell each had two hits.
STARKVILLE — The road to fulfilling potential can come with setbacks. Tobias Smith has taken a pair of detours. The Mississippi State guard spent his first two seasons in Starkville wondering if he’d get a chance to make good on the potential two coaching staffs have seen in him.
STARKVILLE — A marathon ensued Wednesday at Volunteer Field, as Starkville Academy and Heritage Academy played a doubleheader of back-and-forth baseball that resulted in the home team taking a pair of much-needed conference wins.
Danté Oliver didn’t have to be in the “fast” heat Saturday to win two titles.
STARKVILLE — Heath Walker never wanted to quit playing soccer, so he decided to sign on with Junior Noel’s rebuilding project at East Mississippi Community College. The Starkville Academy defender/midfielder contemplated the Lions’ offer for nearly two months before signing a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play in Scooba for the next two years.
The South Lamar High School softball team will honor the memory of one of its former players when it plays host to the Lamar County Tournament. South Lamar will remember Madison Orr, who was killed in an automobile accident March 30, 2009. Orr was a seventh-grader who was killed on Highway 17 between Millport, Ala., and Reform, Ala., while returning home after school.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State’s appeal to the NCAA to reduce Renardo Sidney’s punishment fell short Tuesday as the ruling handed down at the beginning of March was upheld. The original penalty, which stated the Mississippi State men’s basketball signee will lose a year of eligibility and be forced to miss the first nine games of the 2010-11 season, will remain as the The Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee turned down Mississippi State’s appeal of the nine-game suspension. Sidney, a Jackson native, sat all of the 2009-10 season while the NCAA investigated whether the McDonald’s and Parade All-American received improper benefits while playing high school basketball.
While playing baseball at West Lowndes High School, D.Q. Farmer never got to trot around the bases as the result of hitting a home run. But since getting to Mississippi Valley State University, Farmer has shown he has some pop in his bat. Farmer, a freshman at Mississippi Valley, leads the Delta Devils with two home runs –– connecting in both games of a doubleheader against Alabama State on March 20.
Rachel Hollivay is going to be busy again this spring and summer. The New Hope High School sophomore, who already is recognized as one of the state’s top prep girls basketball players, has been invited by USA Basketball to participate in the 2010 Under-17 National Team Trials on June 8-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. “It means a lot,” Hollivay said. “I am looking forward to going back so I can work harder to make the team this time.”
HAMILTON — It might not seem like it, but the marathon is only approaching the halfway point for the Hamilton and West Lowndes high school baseball teams. Poor weather has made it seem like the teams have been at it longer, canceling several dates and making it even tougher to find dry time on the field. On Tuesday, both teams showed they are still striving to find their consistency in a game that featured plenty of action on every play.
BATESVILLE — Josh Tentoni's two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning gave the Columbus High School baseball team a one-run lead, but the Falcons couldn't hold it, falling to South Panola 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday in a Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 game. Nick Durrah struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the next batter reached on an error and later scored on a passed ball to tie the game. Stefan Hairston relieved Durrah to start the eighth and retired the first two batters before pinch hitter Alan Horne doubled and scored on a bloop single by Matt Brown.