NOTEBOOK: Area teams strapped for arms

By Brandon Speck and Blake Long/NEMS Daily Journal

PEARL – Pitching has been a big topic at this week’s Mississippi High School Activities Association state baseball championships.
Both Journal-area teams were strapped by the 17-inning per week – Sunday through Saturday – pitching-limit rule. East Union and Kossuth played weather-delayed North championships series Sunday and Monday.
MHSAA executive director Don Hinton said the rain was unfortunate this season, but the association is always looking to improve situations such as this.
“We always try to evaluate seasons and take recommendations from our coaches and schools, particularly those that go farther in our tournament,” he said.
Hinton says the rule isn’t going away. It is in place as a safety measure.
“Our coaches chose to have that rule,” he said. “Unfortunately, sometimes you have to have rules for some that abuse players.”
East Union wrapped up its fifth state championship series – and fifth series loss – on Friday. The Urchins’ four previous trips each went three games.
Head coach Chris Basil gave his emotional team an uplifting postgame speech
“I’m very proud of our team. I look forward to coming back here for several more years,” Basil told reporters.
Sun problems
The spacious outfields and surroundings of Trustmark Park, one built to MLB specifications, have caused problems for outfielders during the MHSAA championships.
Kossuth and Sumrall combined to drop or misplay six fly balls in Game 1 of their series on Thursday.
Most of those were hit to center and right field where the sun and a clear, bright sky directly aided the problems for outfielders in the mid-afternoon game.
Neither team has played in this size of a facility all season, and Kossuth coach Daniel Threadgill expected these types of miscues coming into the series.
“Playing on this big field, the sun was really a factor for both teams,” the fourth-year coach said after a win in Game 1.
Kossuth became the first North team to win a Class 3A championship since Nettleton in 2007.
Threadgill was an assistant on that team.

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