By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
For Zack Gumm, this weekend is one more chance to impress college baseball coaches.
The Mooreville senior doesn’t yet have a scholarship offer and joins 13 fellow area all-stars Saturday for the D.M. Howie Crossroads Diamond Club Class 1A/2A/3A All-Star Game at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
The game is scheduled for 6 p.m., following the 1 p.m. Class 4A/5A/6A game.
“You never can tell, this might be their chance if (Austin) Lauderdale goes 3 for 3 and Zack pitches two innings of shutout baseball against some of the best talent in the state,” Mooreville coach Derek Thompson said.
Gumm is joined by teammate Austin Lauderdale and NeMiss athletes Trae Bain (Alcorn Central), Phillip Armstrong and Zack Carpenter (Belmont), Jay King and Chase Clark (Bruce), Austin Welch and Ethan Earnest (Hamilton), Caleb Walters and Jake Self (Hatley) and Heath Wood, David Gibson and Tyler Nelms (Kossuth).
West Union’s Ashley Russell is coaching this year’s club.
“I think there are several guys down here that for one reason or another haven’t been seen,” Russell said. “This gives them a chance to play in front of several coaches and scouts.”
Seven of Russell’s players played for state championships two weeks ago.
For Mooreville, Gumm went 9-2 with a 1.50 ERA last season.
“I definitely want to play in college,” Gumm said. “I’m trying my hardest and hope this helps. I’ll have to work on my locations Saturday and definitely hit my spots and hope coaches notice that.”
Like Gumm, Lauderdale is looking to make enough of an impression to get his first offer.
The speedy outfielder hit .300 for the Troopers this season.
“I’m just going to try to hit the ball hard and do a good job in the field and hope coaches notice,” he said.
In the opener, five area athletes are on the roster, Danny Springer (Houston), Luke Stanley (Lafayette), Riley Alef (New Albany), Ethan Gill (Pontotoc) and Nathan Pugh (Starkville).
Among their teammates are Ole Miss signee Zach Irwin of Madison Central and Southern Miss signee Zachary Bird of Murrah.