21 Apr

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It’s opening day in the independent Atlantic League, where Jackson native Stan Cliburn will manage his 3,570th minor league game when his Southern Maryland Blue Crabs meet Lexington. Cliburn’s club includes former Ole Miss star and onetime big leaguer Braxton Lee and Southern Miss product Bradley Roney. Cliburn, entering his 33rd season as a pro manager, was the Atlantic League’s manager of the year in 2021 when he steered the Blue Crabs to a 63-57 record and into the playoffs with a late surge. Forest Hill High alum Cliburn had a long playing career in pro ball and spent part of the 1980 season with the California Angels. Lee, a lefty-hitting outfielder from Picayune, played in the Cincinnati system in 2021, batting .224. A former Southern League batting champ, he got 17 at-bats with the Miami Marlins in 2018. Roney, a right-hander, pitched in the New York Mets’ system last season, finishing at Triple-A. Roney, who pitched for the Mississippi Braves in 2016, ’17 and ’19, has a 3.71 career ERA in pro ball. … Also in the ALPB is former East Mississippi Community College standout LeDarious Clark, an outfielder with Lancaster. P.S. Mississippi State product Nathaniel Lowe snagged a screaming line drive Wednesday night and started 3-6 triple play, the seventh in Texas Rangers history. Caught up in the tri-killing was ex-State star Adam Frazier, who redeemed himself quite nicely by going 3-for-4 with a walk and a run in Seattle’s 4-2 victory. Frazier is batting .294 as the Mariners’ new leadoff man.

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