• 72°

Lincoln Co. All-Stars in state tournaments tonight

     Two Lincoln County American League All-Star teams begin their quest for

     Dixie Youth Baseball League State Tournament championships tonight at different locations. The Lincoln County AAA All-Stars are at Magee and play Wayne County at 8. Meanwhile, the Lincoln County Major All-Stars are at Hattiesburg’s Larry Doleac Youth Sports Complex and play Perry County, also at 8.

     Sixteen teams are entered in each tournament. Win or lose, they all play Saturday, either in the consolation or championship bracket. Double-elimination tournament action continues daily, through next Wednesday.

     The Lincoln County American 8s Coach/Pitch All-Stars finished fourth in last weekend’s State Tournament at Pascagoula and have qualified for the DYB World Series at Monroe, La., starting July 26.

     “This has been a great year for our league,” said Lincoln County Youth Sports commissioner Weldon Smith. “I am extremely proud of all three teams. We wish them all the best.”

     AAA Tournament

     Joining Magee, Lincoln County and Wayne County in the AAA state tourney are teams from Lawrence County, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Hattiesburg, Kosciusko, Mendenhall, Purvis, Corinth, St. Martin, McComb, Clarksdale, Iuka and Moss Point.

     American League head coach Hugh Fortenberry watched his team cruise through the North Subdistrict Six Tournament undefeated and then won a best-of-three series against McComb, taking Games 2 and 3. Both teams advance to the state tournament.

     “We are playing well as a team,” said Fortenberry. “We must keep on playing solid defense and we must all hit the ball.”

     Fortenberry is assisted by coaches Bill Albritton and Chip Carter. Team members are Colin Waldrop, Jackson Carter, Gage Brown, Jacob Smith, Jermario Hersey, Dylan Reeves, Piker Ratcliff, Piker Wallace, Luke Davis, Jon Albritton, Dylan Carter and Tyler Fortenberry.

     A victory tonight would send them against the winner of the Moss Point-Iuka game Saturday at 6. A loss to Wayne County would put the Americans against the Moss Point-Iuka loser at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

     Major League Action

     The Lincoln Countians breezed through the District Six Tournament, their closest game a 2-1, 10-inning decision over Franklin County in the semifinals. They clobbered Natchez 19-1 in the title test.

     Coaching the Lincoln Countians are Brady Gartman, Chad Smith, Bradley Cade and John Hilbert. Players are Brent Cade, James Beard, Landon Lynch, Clint Stephens, Krishawn Jackson, Keegan Smith, Rials Hester, Kline Foster, Peytin Jergins, Dane Smith, John Hilbert and Landon Gartman.

     Coach Smith said the Larry Doleac Complex was a beautiful facility. “The kids will have a good time there. They have sunken dugouts.”

     The facility is located off I-59, taking the South Hattiesburg exit onto Highway 11, then going east to a turnoff.

     Besides Lincoln and Perry County, the tournament teams include Franklin County, Lawrence County, Natchez, Humphreys County, Wayne County, Purvis, Columbia, Yazoo City, Magee, Greenville, St. Martin, Moss Point, Hattiesburg, and Roy Campanella. Four fields are being used

     “Coming out of the district tournament our boys played extremely well,” said Smith. “We have strong bats and strong pitching. They are playing as a team and they encourage each other. The kids have really bonded together well. They are having fun.”

     Smith said the team is balanced. “We have 12 kids and all of them are good in the field and at the bat. One of the keys is having some depth in our lineup.

We are blessed with good pitching.

     “This should be at least a 6-game tournament.”

     The Lincoln-Perry County winner plays the winner of the Hattiesburg-Campanella game at 1 p.m. Saturday. The losers play at 11 a.m.

Dixie Youth Baseball

Major State at Hattiesburg

FRIDAY’S GAMES

     6 p.m., Game 1, Humphreys County vs. Wayne County. Game 2, Natchez vs. Purvis. Game 3, Columbia vs. Lawrence County. Game 4, Yazoo City vs. Magee.

     8 p.m., Game 5, Greenville vs. St. Martin. Game 6, Franklin County vs. Moss Point. Game 7, Hattiesburg vs. Roy Campanella. Game 8, Lincoln County AL vs. Perry County.

 Dixie Youth Baseball

AAA State at Magee

FRIDAY’S GAMES

     4 p.m., Lawrence County vs. Philadelphia. Hattiesburg AL vs. Kosciusko.

     6 p.m., Mendenhall vs. Purvis. Corinth vs. St. Martin. McComb vs. Clarksdale.

     8 p.m., Lincoln County AL vs. Wayne County. Moss Point vs. Iuka. Magee vs. Cleveland East.