By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
PEARL – Chase Reeves and Will Cox both know their baseball. Both have signed NCAA Division I scholarships, both capped stellar prep careers Saturday, and both have seen the new BBCOR bats in action.
In the final high school games in Mississippi to allow BESR certified bats – the ones that go “ping” – the South swept the North, 5-2 in the Class 1A/2A/3A game and 12-11 in 11 innings in the Class 4A/5A/6A game, at the 37th annual Crossroads Diamond Club All-Star Games.
BESR (ball exit speed ratio) bats were approved at the high school level through this season. The BESR tests bats to see how fast a ball went off its barrel.
Beginning January 1, high schools must follow the NCAA’s precedent and use BBCOR certified bats. The BBCOR (batted ball coefficient of restitution) is a more accurate testing of aluminum bats to make sure they play similar to wooden bats, which according to Reeves is basically what they are.
“It’s a glorified wood bat is all it is,” Reeves, an Ole Miss signee, said. “You’ve gotta actually square it up to get a hit. It makes the game better.”
Big changes have come at the collegiate level from BBCOR bats, and Cox said he thinks the same will be said at the prep level next season.
“It seems like in high school it’s gonna be even more of an impact,” the Mississippi State signee said. “They’re gonna have to not try and swing for the fence every time and play small ball.”
Saturday at Trustmark Park, pitching dominated the 1A/2A/3A game in eight of the nine innings.
Morton’s Jamie Ball and Perry Central’s Codey Minter began the seventh with singles off Wheeler’s Brandon Woodruff.
After recording a strikeout, Woodruff walked three straight batters and in the process allowed five runs to score on wild pitches to give the South a 5-0 lead.
Ripley’s Jonathan Morrison was named the North’s MVP after his single scored Charles Morton (Eupora) and Channing Nanney (Mooreville) for their only runs of the game.
TCPS’s Will Cockrell was named the Defensive Player of the Game after his eighth inning snag of a groundball at third base stopped the South from extending their lead. Mooreville’s Tyler Moore won the Randy Makamson Sportsmanship Award.
In the nightcap, an RBI single by Jonathan Holder (Gulfport) in the eleventh scored Senquez Golson (Pascagoula) for the winning run.
Amory’s Will Cox was named North MVP after tallying three RBIs and a double as well as one inning’s work on the mound. Ben Hudspeth of Tupelo went 2 for 3 with a triple and a RBI.