All-star game offers players one more chance to be on the diamond

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

The first pitches today will mark the beginning of the end of the 2013 baseball season for several Northeast Mississippi players and coaches.
The Northeast Mississippi Coaches Association for Better Baseball will hold those first pitches in the 23rd NEMCABB All-star games today in Corinth.
The Class 1A-2A game begins at 2 p.m., with the 3A-6A game at 5:30 p.m.
“For a lot of guys, this is the last time they will play,” said NEMCABB secretary/treasurer Buddy Hall. “It’s an opportunity for them to play one more time, and for those who just haven’t had the exposure to get it.”
Each team will have a roster of 18 seniors, with the squads divided into East and West squads.
“The concept is great for our area, and I’m so impressed with what they’ve done over the years,” West 3A-6A coach Bo Sandlin said, who is the head coach at Booneville, and played in the event in 1998. “It shows the commitment and dedication to baseball by many people over the years in this area.”
Casey James from Pontotoc will join Sandlin on the big school West squad, with Jerry Long from Tishomingo County and Jeffrey Cook from Columbus heading the big school East squad.
The 1A-2A staff will be Josh Dowdy from Bruce and Andy Wilbanks from Ingomar, with Eric Lancaster from Biggersville and Will Lowery from Tupelo Christian Prep heading the East team.
state championships
Both games could be impacted by potential games in the State Tournament. Five members of the 1A-2A West team are from East Union, which lost Game 2 and the series to Taylorsville in Class 2A Friday.
Likewise in the 3A-6A game, one member of that team is from Kossuth, which could be in a Game 3 today versus Sumrall in 3A.
Between games, NEMCABB Hall of Fame inductees this year are Long, Scottie James from Tishomingo County, Jimbo Byars from Houlka, Jay Walker from Corinth, and Joe Spencer from New Albany.