King, Grace, Keys picked to South All-Star teams

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

JACKSON — The Crossroads Diamond Club, who has put on theMississippi High School All-Star Baseball Games since 1975,announces its rosters for the 2008 Big Buck Sporting Goods/SecurityNational Life Coach D.M. Howie Mississippi All-Star BaseballGames.

Of the 72 all-stars selected for Saturday’s games, 61 have seenaction in the 2008 Mississippi High School Activities Association’sbaseball playoffs with 11 of those making it to their school’srespective championship series.

Selected for the Class 4A-5A game is Paxton King of Brookhavenwith Cory Keyes of Lawrence County as one of the coaches. Chosenfor the Class 1A-2A-3A contest is Jonathan Grace of Wesson.

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The games are scheduled for Trustmark Park in Pearl, home of theSouthern League’s Mississippi Braves. The Class 4A-5A game will beplayed at 1 p.m. with the Class 1A-2A-3A contest set for 6 p.m.

“It’s quite an honor to be selected by your peers to coach inthis game,” said Keyes.

Working with Keyes is Michael Henry from Vancleave.

All-Stars report Thursday morning at 9 a.m. to the HindsCommunity College campus in Raymond. A banquet Thursday night,They’ll practice Thursday and Friday.

The last three years the LCHS has had five players whoparticipated in Michael Thompson in 2005, Jake Russell andJohnathan Stephens in 2006 and Trent Hartzog and Joseph Evans in2007.

Keyes just finished his fourth year at LCHS head 102 wins and 29losses. The Cougars won back-to-back Division 6-4A championships in2005 and 2006.

The Cougars (23-8) lost to East Central in the second round ofthe state playoffs. East Central went on to claim.

King, who signed with Southern Miss, was named Mr. Baseball andthe Most Valuable Player on the 2008 All-Lincoln County Team. Kinghelped Coach Randy Spring’s Panthers to a 25-8 record.

On the mound, King (8-1) worked 57 inning where he struck out 83batters and walked 22. He had a 1.22 ERA. At the plate, King batted.404 with 33 RBIs. He hit 9 doubles, 3 triples and 1 home run.

Grace, a Co-Lin signee, was the only senior on the Wesson Cobras(17-9). He finished the year with an 8-6 record and an ERA of 2.47.In 96 innings, Grace retired 132 batters and walked 71.

At the plate, Grace had a .446 batting average including 14 homeruns and 7 doubles. He had 41 RBIs, 33 hits and 27 runs scored. Hewas walked 23 times and struck out 11 times.

In addition, the Crossroads Diamond Club announces the inducteesfor the 2008 Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Six people will beinducted as the Class of 2008. Being inducted as coaches areMississippi Sports Hall of Famer Joe Gibbon, former Ole Miss andPittsburgh Pirates star and former coach at Clarke College inNewton, and Rick Clarke, former coach at Magnolia Academy, HindsCommunity College, and Pearl High School.

Being inducted as umpires are the late Bobby Humphreys and thelate D.J. (Red) Thomas.

Being inducted as Friends of Baseball are Dee Collins and thelate Joe Hughes.

The Crossroads Diamond Club also announces the recipient of the2008 Terry Magee Memorial Award is veteran umpire Charles Naylor ofMeridian.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the Terry Magee Awardpresentation will be held during the fifth inning of the Class4A-5A game.