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Diamond Wolves in state tourney

WESSON — Co-Lin’s baseball team battles for the MACJC StateTournament championship this week at Pearl River Community Collegein Poplarville. The Wolves (28-14), runners-up to Pearl River(38-7) in the South Division, meet Central Division championMeridian (36-8) Thursday at 1 p.m.

Also tomorrow, Central Division runner-up Hinds (18-19) playsNorth Division champion Itawamba (30-11) at 4 p.m. and Pearl Rivermeets Mississippi Delta (23-17), the North Division runner-up, at7.

The double-elimination tournament continues Friday with 3 games.Losers of the Hinds-Itawamba and Pearl River-Delta games play at 1p.m. The Hinds-Itawamba winner plays the loser of theCo-Lin/Meridian game at 4. The Pearl River-Delta winner meets theCo-Lin/Meridian winner at 7.

The championship round is scheduled Sunday. Saturday willfeature elimination games.

“We want to play well in state,” said Co-Lin head coach KeithCase. “We need to swing the bats better and do a better job ondefense than we did last time,” referring to a 12-2 loss atMeridian last Wednesday.

“Hopefully we can reach a peak before the regional starts,” May4-7 at Hinds in Raymond. The Wolves will join Hinds, Pearl Riverand LSU-Eunice in the double-elimination tournament.

Co-Lin has managed to overcome a plague of injuries to reach thestate tournament. However, centerfielder Keeyon Sanders is expectedto miss the state tournament with a deep thigh bruise which wasstarting to form a calcium deposit.

Sanders sustained the injury two weeks ago at Pearl River. Casesaid he could be ready for the regional.

Offensively, the Wolves are .295 as a team, lead by freshmansecond baseman Patrick Williams of Crystal Springs (CopiahAcademy). Williams is batting .357 and leads the team with 9 homeruns and 43 RBI.

Freshman first baseman/outfielder Jody Britt is batting .331.Sanders bats .326. Cole Zumbro has a .319 average and has hit 4homers. Third baseman Justin Sykes has 5 homers and a .262 battingaverage.

Other offensive leaders are Casey Ginn .296, Diego Nucete .290an Jeffrey Waycaster .260. Britt has 24 RBI and Nucete 22.

On the mound, Matthew Fox has a 5-0 record and a 3.12 ERA. RyanBelanger and Tyler Perrett are both 6-1. Belanger has 2.64 ERA andPerrett is 4.65 ERA. Belanger has 53 strikeouts.

Zumbro has posted a 5-2 record and a 4.01 ERA.

“It is good to make the state tournament after all the injuriesand walls that the team has faced this year,” said Case. “We wonenough games to do that.”