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World Series Bound: Local group claims state hardware
by H. Lee Smith II
Jul 27, 2013 | 107 views | 0 0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s hard for a group of 10-year-old boys to take the world serious.

That Baker’s Dozen, however, is about to take of the World Series.

The Corinth/Alcorn County Parks and Recreation All-Star team claimed the 10AAA Dixie Youth State Tournament, besting a field of 16 in the six-day event at Magee.

Two teams from each of the state’s districts participated in the World Series qualifier. Corinth/Alcorn County entered as the District 2 champion following a 5-0 showing at the state precursor in Burnsville.

The local group finished 6-1 in state play, beating McComb 3-2 in Thursday’s championship contest an earning a spot in the World Series in Laurel.

“It was a total team effort from both the players and coaches,” said Manager Anthony Marshall, who was assisted by Brian Johnson and Keith Settlemires. “We all put our two cents in and the team battled.”

Opening Ceremonies, which include an around-the-horn and home run contests, begin on Friday. The locals will begin play in the 12-team event against South Carolina at 3:30 on Saturday.

After winning three of four to start the tournament, Corinth/Alcorn avenged its only loss (6-5) with a 6-3 decision over Clarksdale. With the unconventional setup of the Dixie Youth brackets, three teams -- Corinth/Alcorn, Clarksdale and McComb -- were each left with one loss.

McComb drew the bye and would face the Corinth/Alcorn-Clarksdale winner in the title round. The locals set the stage for the title with their second straight win over Clarksdale -- this one in 12-2 fashion.

“The kids just never quit at either tournament. We were down 10-0 to Iuka in District and came back and won,” said Marshall. “We have 13 kids and we feel comfortable about putting them anywhere on the field ... even as starters.”

Corinth/Alcorn and McComb were tied at 2-2 heading into the final inning. Keb Brawner provided the walk-off win with a two-out knock that scored Cayden Betts, who earlier singled and stole second.

Alex Marshall provided an earlier highlight, a 3-run blast against Lawrence County on Wednesday -- the six day of the annual affair.

Pitchers were limited to 15 innings per tournament, but had to rest 36 hours after tossing four or more frames. The group, with Jaxin Settlemires, Noah Essary and Marshall, proved to be seven-deep in the tourney.

“We had seven really good pitchers and didn’t have to use some of the other arms we have on the team,” said Marshall. “All seven did a great job.”

Corinth/Alcorn will enter the World Series with an 11-1 combined mark over two postseason elimination tournaments.

“We finished first out of 78 state teams in 10AAA Dixie Youth ... that’s pretty salty,” said Marshall.

Another key to the teams success was the familiarity and camaraderie already built. Ten of the 12 players from last year’s 9-year-old squad -- which finished third at state -- are on this team.

“Most of them have been together for two years in a row,” said Marshall. “That means a lot, especially to this age group.”

Marshall also cited Jody Hill for his motivational speech before each game.

“He talked about A&E -- attitude and effort -- and that helped them tremendously,” said Marshall.

The group is also hoping for donations to offset the various expenses for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing the World Series.

“Hotels will be our biggest expense and any donations would be greaty appreciated,” said Marshall.

(Anyone willing to help with the team expenses can contact Marshall at 212-4604 or Crossroads Regional Park at 286-3067.)
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