• 70°

Case makes all-star baseball history at W. Lincoln

Jared Case didn’t know he was making history. His selection to play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Baseball Game makes Case the first West Lincoln player to ever be chosen for the Dream Game, which is sponsored by the Crossroads Diamond Club.

Case will play for the South Class 1A-2A-3A squad in Saturday’s contest at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson. The first pitch is 1 p.m. at the Lakeland Dr. facility. The Class 4A-5A-6A game will be played at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

The 39th Annual D.M. Howie showcase features some of the best players in Mississippi. South 1A-2A-3A coaches are Mark Davis of Perry Central and Scott Gibson of Clarkdale.

Case, a 6-foot, 160-pound athlete, is known best for his basketball skills. In fact, he played in last summer’s MAC All-Star Basketball Game, which features rising seniors. He plans to play basketball for Mississippi College next season.

“I enjoy playing baseball,” said Case. A southpaw, he pitches and plays the outfield.

West Lincoln coach Steve Barrington said Case’s all-around athletic ability and competitive nature made him an outstanding baseball player.

“Jared is a gifted athlete,” said Barrington. “You can put any kind of ball in his hands and he will excel. He has been an absolute joy to coach the last seven years.

“He always says, ‘Yes sir’ and ‘No sir.”

As a senior, Case helped the Bears achieve the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs and an 8-15 record. He batted .429 and hit 3 home runs. He stole 24 bases.

On the mound, Case compiled a 3-4 record and a 4.4 ERA. He amassed 54 strikeouts and 21 walks.

“I like to hit the corners with my fastball,” said Case. “I use my curveball more than my changeup.”

Case’s fastball is in the low 80s.

“When Jared is on, he doesn’t throw anything straight,” said Barrington. “His fastball has a lot of movement.”

At the plate, Barrington said, “He swings it really well from the left side. He has a lot of great instincts running the bases.”

Case said his best game was against Lincoln County archrival Bogue Chitto and senior pitcher Zach Avants. “I struck out 12 batters and hit a home run. We swept Bogue Chitto.”

Case uses a Cat-5 bat. It is 32 inches in length and weighs 29 ounces.

All-Star notes: Chandler Blakeney of Stringer, Matt Mims of Vicksburg St. Aloysius and Pelahatchie’s Andrew Gough are the only other Class 1A players on the South squad.

North Pike’s Brady Badon and Jacob Fleming are playing for the South 4A-5A-6A squad, along with McComb’s Adrian Brown. Coaching the South are Brad Hankins of Forrest County AHS and Chris McCallum of Tylertown.

In 2012, the North snapped the South’s 2-game winning streak in the Class 1A-2A-3A contest with a 13-10 victory. The South still leads the series by a 14-13 margin.

In the Class 1A-2A-3A series, the South holds an 18-10 lead but the North halted the South’s 5-year reign in 2012 with a 5-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to win 12-11.