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District 7 baseball team picked

WESSON – On a hot Wednesday morning, 81 area baseball players tried out for the District 7 State Games of Mississippi Team. That large group was analyzed and cut to a 19-member roster that will begin play June 19-23 at Meridian Community College.

The D7 team won gold last year at the State Games, and several players return from last years’ unit to provide leadership. The team is composed of rising juniors and seniors.

Making up the team were Landon McCullough (3B/SS/2B) of Brookhaven, catcher Landon Nettles of Brookhaven Academy, shortstop/RHP Bailey Warren of Wesson (Brookhaven Academy), Jackson Cole (2B/SS/RHP) of Enterprise, Brock Roberts (RHP) of Bogue Chitto, Seth Farmer (OF) of Loyd Star, Reed Taylor (catcher/3B) of North Pike, Parklane products Walt Aldridge (catcher) and Tanner Whittington (1B/3B), Lawrence County outfielder Kewaun May, Simpson Academy’s Austin Douglas (3B/1B/OF), Centreville Academy RHP Colby Shaw, Natchez-Trinity LHP/OF Quinton Logan, Mendenhall RHP Austin Odom and Columbia trio Edward Forbes (SS/OF), C.J. Newsome (OF), Zach Boone (RHP), Bryson Medious (OF), and Tamez Conerly (3B/1B).

Newsome had the fastest 60-yard dash at the tryouts with a 6.55. Columbia teammate Edward Forbes, an Ole Miss commit, ran a 6.59.

BA’s Landon Nettles had the fastest pop time among catchers with a 1.89. Centreville Academy’s Colby Shaw showed the most velocity among pitchers with an 88 mph fastball and a plus curveball.

Farmer earned Co-Offensive Player of the Year recognition on the Daily Leader’s 2013 All-Lincoln County Team. He batted .416 for the Hornets, helping them to the Class 2A South State Championship series against Taylorsville.  

Coaching this year’s D7 team are Lawrence County’s Cory Keyes and Josh Garrett.

“We had 81 guys try out,” said Keyes. “All of our coaches in the area did a good job of getting their players to report for tryouts. I talked to some coaches in the Jackson area and they had about 85 (players) try out.”

Keyes said he appreciated the help from new Co-Lin baseball coach Clay Smith. “He did a good job of helping run (tryouts).”

Looking at the roster, Keyes said, “We feel like we have a good nucleus of talented kids. I’m sure other (district) coaches feel the same way about their teams.

“The only bad part is that we had to cut some good kids.”

Keyes said there will be no preliminary practice sessions. “You show up on the 19th and they (tournament officials) give you about an hour to warm up. Then you fill out the lineup card and start playing.”

The tryouts lasted nearly four hours at Co-Lin Community College’s Sullivan Field. Players overcame near 100-degree temps and light southerly winds to show their talents. in front of area coaches, college and pro scouts.