By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
A wrap to two months of hot baseball is in site for the popular Cotton States League, but that does not mean it is any less hectic.
Play continues today in the league’s college playoffs, with three games on tap in the double-elimination tournament.
“This has been a great season, and it seems to be bigger and better every year,” Cotton States operations director Frank Dodds said. “We’re so proud of the coaches, players, and community support.”
Today’s slate of contests begin at 1 p.m. with Tenn-Tom Thunder versus the Golden Triangle Jets in a losers bracket game. That will be followed by the North Delta Dealers and the Tippah Tribe in a winners bracket game at 3:30 p.m.
The two losers today will play in a 6 p.m. contest to wrap up the trio of contests. Then on Sunday, the championship contest will be at 1:30 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. contest if needed.
The Dealers entered the tournament, which began Sunday, as the No. 1 seed after posting a 15-1-1 record during the regular season.
A trio of Dealers post solid offensive numbers, with Taylor King (Water Valley, Northwest CC) with a .371 batting average, with Jaylan Bledsoe (Holmes CC) and Christopher Townsend (Oxford/Central Arkansas) at .370 each. These three also are the top three in the league in average.
The Dealers pitching staff has also been strong with Scott Weathersby (Oak Grove/Ole Miss) posting a 0.33 ERA in 27 innings, with Turner Neely (Miss. Delta CC) at 1.71, and Jeremy Massie (Northwest CC/Ole Miss) at 1.98.
“I think the two no-hitters have been highlights to the season this year,” said Dodds, of which Weathersby has one. “And we’ve had a lot of offensive highlights, too.
“It appears to me, over the course of a couple of years, the players have adjusted to the wooden bats, and I think we’ve seen more scoring this season than before because of that.”
Already thinking of the 2013 season, Dodds would hope to have a minimum of six teams, and perhaps have more players from across the nation while maintaining the regional core of players already in the league. Besides Mississippi, the league has players from Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan, and the Bahamas.