30 Apr

what’s in a game

For the second straight year — and fifth time overall — Pearl River Community College owns the state championship. The Wildcats, ranked No. 2 in NJCAA Division II, clinched the MACCC crown with a 12-3 whipping of Northeast on Friday in Poplarville. The pitching of Dakota Lee and two homers from Alex Perry were key for PRCC, which will host the Region 23 Tournament at Dub Herring Park starting May 16. PRCC finishes the regular season 34-10, 22-6 MACCC. Northeast, which won the second game Friday, heads into a best-of-3 series next week with a berth in the region tourney at stake. The Nos. 2-9 seeds in the league face off in the four best-of-3 series. … Millsaps College won for the second straight day in the Southern Athletic Association Tournament and plays Rhodes today for the championship of its pod. The Majors, 23-18 with six straight wins, need to win once to advance to the SAA title series. Sam Pitre was 5-for-6 with a homer and three RBIs in the Majors’ 16-10 win against Centre on Friday. … William Carey pounded out 32 runs in a twinbill sweep of overmatched Talladega and heads to next week’s Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament as the 3-seed with a 33-15 overall record. Jake Lycette drove in seven runs in the two games for the Crusaders. Also headed to the SSAC tourney in Columbus, Ga., is 7-seed Blue Mountain (27-24), which lost its regular season finale Friday at Mobile. … Belhaven split a doubleheader at UT-Dallas on Friday, winning Game 2 8-0 behind the pitching of ace Brett Sanchez, and clinched the No. 3 seed in next week’s American Southwest Conference Tournament. The Blazers are 25-14, 18-11, heading into today’s season finale. … Most NCAA Division I Tournament projections don’t include Mississippi State or Ole Miss, but both helped their cause with wins on Friday. State (25-18) beat Missouri and Ole Miss (24-17) took down highly ranked Arkansas. Southern Miss, a favorite to host a regional at this stage, saw its 15-game win streak end at UAB. The Golden Eagles, a consensus top 10 team, are 33-9. Jackson State, coming off a disheartening 21-3 loss to Alabama State at home last Sunday, beat Alabama A&M 3-2 on Friday on a walk-off balk at Braddy Field. It was win No. 501 for coach Omar Johnson, whose erratic Tigers are 20-21, 8-11 SWAC. … Mississippi College (13-33, 7-21 Gulf South) stumbled to its eighth straight loss, 12-1 vs. Union. The Choctaws are going to miss the GSC Tournament; Delta State (27-13, 17-7), which didn’t play Friday, is vying for the No. 1 seed.

05 Nov

for pondering

As major league baseball slips into its “off-season,” here are a few Mississippi-related things to ponder over the coming weeks:
1. Where will Mitch Moreland land? The former Mississippi State standout, who has been with Texas his entire career, is a free agent. A good-fielding first baseman with left-handed power (110 career home runs), he should have plenty of suitors, including the Rangers.
2. Will Jonathan Papelbon find a new team? The ex-State star, released in August by Washington, remains a free agent. His numbers from 2016 (19 saves, 4.37 ERA) weren’t bad, but he is about to turn 36 with a lot of miles on his arm. And there’s that other stuff.
3. How will Lance Lynn’s comeback go? The Ole Miss product, who had Tommy John surgery last November, pitched a handful of innings in the minors in 2016 but was never activated by St. Louis. The Cardinals need a good year from the 29-year-old Lynn, who has a 61-39 career record.
4. Is Hunter Renfroe ready for duty? The former State star looked great during his late call-up with San Diego, batting .371 with four homers and winning a National League player of the week award. The expectations will surely ramp up heading into next season for a Padres organization that hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2006.
5. Can Brian Snitker keep Atlanta on the right track? The former Mississippi Braves manager, a really good guy who has been in the Braves’ organization since 1977, steered the team to a 37-35 record after the All-Star break. “Snitker is baseball’s version of the guy who started in the mail room and became chairman of the board,” wrote Baseball America’s Tracy Ringolsby. It feels like Atlanta made a good choice for 2017.
P.S. Mississippians Chris Stratton (Mississippi State) and Anthony Alford (Petal High) are slated to play in tonight’s Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game, which will be televised by MLB Network at 7 p.m.