12 May

in other news …

It wasn’t the debut everyone was talking about on Saturday, but it was significant just the same. J.T. Ginn, the former Mississippi State standout from Brandon, struck out 10 batters and allowed one run in six innings in his first start for Triple-A Las Vegas in the Oakland system. The 24-year-old right-hander, in his fourth pro season, threw 99 pitches, allowed just four hits and two walks and finished his outing with a punchout. The lone run scored with two outs in the sixth, when former Mississippi College star Blaine Crim delivered an RBI knock for Round Rock, which went on to win the game 4-3. Ginn was 4-1 with a 4.15 ERA in six Double-A starts this season. Drafted by the New York Mets in the second round in 2020 (and later traded to Oakland), Ginn has been limited by injuries to 45 pro games. It appears he has regained the form that made him such a prized amateur prospect. (BTW: Ginn’s alma mater, Brandon High, knocked out Northwest Rankin on Saturday and advanced to the MHSAA Class 7A championship series.) P.S. Kudos to the state’s Big 4 Division I schools: Southern Miss walloped Arkansas State 19-3 as Slade Wilks hit two big homers; Mississippi State whipped third-ranked Arkansas (and ex-Lewisburg High star Brady Tygart) 8-5 with Dakota Jordan homering again; Ole Miss crushed No. 2 Texas A&M 10-2 behind the arms of Liam Doyle and Josh Mallitz; and Jackson State knocked off Bethune-Cookman 5-0 as Erick Gonzalez and two relievers combined on a five-hitter. … Belhaven University bowed out of the CCS Tournament in Tennessee with a pair of losses on Saturday. The Blazers, who finished second in the league in the regular season, are 25-17. The NCAA Division III Tournament selections will be made on Monday.

26 Apr

a few atta boys

Brandon Woodruff, the former Mississippi State standout from Wheeler, threw six shutout innings to beat the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday. The Milwaukee ace is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA and has yet to allow a home run in 29 innings this season.
Pearl River Community College wrapped up the junior college state championship with a sweep of Northeast on Sunday. Gulfport’s Tate Parker hit two homers, a grand slam and then a seventh-inning game-clincher, Nos. 14 and 15 on the year, in a 13-5 win in Game 1 at Poplarville. The third-ranked Wildcats are 33-7 and 23-5 MACCC.
Decatur’s Kemp Alderman, a freshman, blasted a walk-off bomb for Ole Miss on Saturday as the Rebels salvaged the third game of their SEC series against LSU.
Collinsville’s Ben Ethridge threw a three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout at Western Kentucky on Saturday, helping Southern Miss take three of four in the C-USA series.
Lucedale’s Logan Tanner hit a two-run homer off Jack Leiter on Saturday as Mississippi State handed the Vanderbilt ace — and potential No. 1 MLB draft pick — his first loss of the season. Rowdey Jordan’s leadoff blast got the Bulldogs rolling.
Brandon High took down previously undefeated Madison Central 7-6 on Friday. The Jaguars, No. 3 in the latest MaxPreps national poll, are now 24-1. The Bulldogs are 20-7.
Three former Mississippi Braves pitchers notched wins as MLB starters on Friday: Huascar Ynoa for Atlanta, Mike Minor for Kansas City and Alex Wood for San Francisco. A fourth, John Gant, got a W for St. Louis on Saturday.

22 Mar

on prep scene

George County High is getting a lot of love in the national polls, especially from Collegiate Baseball Magazine. CB has the Rebels at No. 5 in its most recent rankings (March 11); Brandon Davis’ team has won three times since that poll was released to improve to 12-0. MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25 poll puts George County at No. 7, and Perfect Game has the Rebels ninth in the nation. Catcher/pitcher Logan Tanner, a Mississippi State commit, is the team’s star attraction. He is batting .448 with two homers and 18 RBIs and is 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA on the bump. But Tanner is hardly a lone star: Senior Ethan Coleman is batting .529 with 20 runs, and senior Trevor McDonald is 5-0, 0.29. DeSoto Central (13-2) also shows up in the Perfect Game Top 50 poll at No. 29. MaxPreps produces a computer ranking, and on that chart, Brandon is the top team in the state and 38th in the nation. The Bulldogs (11-4) are led by Kellum Clark, a junior who’s raking at .500 with seven home runs, and Trey McCormick, 3-0 with a 1.31. No. 2 in the state per MaxPreps’ computer is Biloxi (13-2). The Indians feature Cade Mohan (.351) and Matthew Delano (4-0, 0.78). … Jerrion Ealy, generally regarded as the state’s top prep pro prospect, is off to a great start in his senior season at Jackson Prep, batting .425 with nine doubles, 12 RBIs, 16 runs and eight steals in 13 games. The two-sport star has signed with Ole Miss.

17 Apr

they’re the one

West Jones High will roll into Brandon on Thursday with a target on its back. The Mustangs moved into the top 10 in Baseball America’s new prep rankings, up to No. 9 from 16th on April 3. West Jones (22-1) is the only state school in the Top 25. MaxPreps ranks West Jones fourth in Mississippi, behind Madison Central, Northwest Rankin and Gulfport. Brandon (20-6) is No. 6. The Mustangs are led by dual threat Dustin Dickerson, who is batting .371 with three homers and 19 RBIs and is 6-0 with a 0.30 ERA as a pitcher. Evan Bynum is also 6-0 with a 0.81. Kris Riley leads the team with four bombs, Colson Harris with 19 RBIs and sophomore Sam Hill with a .411 average. The Mustangs’ only loss is to Hattiesburg, fifth in the MaxPreps poll. Brandon features state player of the year candidate J.T. Ginn, who is batting .460 with nine homers and carries a 4-0, 0.55 pitching ledger.

11 Sep

golden moment

Brandon High’s J.T. Ginn struck out the last batter in the ninth inning on Sunday as Team USA claimed gold in the Under 18 World Cup in Canada. Ginn pitched a perfect ninth in the 8-0 victory over Korea, calling it the “best moment of my life” on Twitter. A prep All-American in 2017 and a Mississippi State commit, Ginn worked 3 1/3 innings in four appearances in the tournament and allowed no hits and no runs with six strikeouts and two walks. Team USA went 9-0 in the World Cup, which it won for the fourth straight time.

07 Apr

poll position

Northwest Rankin High, which is on a 17-1 roll, has broken into Baseball America’s new Top 25, checking in at No. 20. The Class 6A Cougars, who have a game tonight at Starkville, haven’t lost since March 7, when they fell 2-1 in extra innings to Germantown. They notched two big wins over rival Madison Central on March 31 and April 2. Acy Owen leads NWR in hitting at .500, and Ian Ladner is at .442 with four homers and Damione Granger .333 with 15 RBIs. On the bump, Hunter Smith is 5-0 with a 0.40 ERA and Cannon Gibbs 4-0, 0.33. … Brandon is 25th in BA’s latest poll; DeSoto Central, which lost three of four in the National High School Invitational late last month, dropped out.

27 Mar

on the big stage

DeSoto Central High bounced back from an opening round loss (to Whitewater of Georgia) to whip Trinity Prep of Florida 10-0 on Thursday in the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C. Tre Spann drove in four runs, Austin Riley knocked in a pair and Keegen James threw a three-hitter over six innings. The Jaguars (10-5) are scheduled to play Lambert, Ga., today in the NHSI consolation bracket. DeSoto is ranked No. 21 in the latest Baseball America poll, which has Brandon at No. 24. The Bulldogs (12-1) are No. 23 in the MaxPreps poll. Brandon, facing a big game today against defending Class 6A champion Oak Grove, has gotten great production from Hunter Wilson, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior first baseman who is batting .400 with five home runs and 27 RBIs.

26 Feb


DeSoto Central High, arguably the best prep team in the state, will participate in the National High School Invitational hosted by USA Baseball from March 25-28 at Cary, N.C. DeSoto Central, 28-10 and Class 6A runner-up (to Oak Grove) last year, is ranked 14th in Baseball America’s preseason poll and is currently No. 24 in MaxPreps’ rankings. The Jaguars will play Whitewater High of Fayetteville, Ga., in the NHSI, a 16-team event being held for the fourth time. DeSoto is the first Mississippi school invited. The Jags’ Austin Riley, a Mississippi State signee, may be the best player in the state. He went 8-3, 1.51 as a pitcher and batted .465 with nine homers as a third baseman in 2014. … Brandon, a 6A semifinalist last season led by outfielder Erick Hoard, is No. 22 in BA’s preseason poll. That’s two Magnolia State schools among the nation’s top 22 — another feather in the state’s baseball cap. … Mississippi did not have a player make Baseball America’s preseason All-America teams, which are selected by MLB scouting directors. But, Ke’Bryan Hayes of Texas, a first-team pick at third base, has a Mississippi connection. The Tennessee signee is the son of Hattiesburg native Charlie Hayes, the longtime MLB star who won a World Series ring with the New York Yankees in 1996. … Still can’t get over the numbers Jackson Prep’s Gene Wood, a Louisville Slugger All-America pick, put up for the MAIS state champs in 2014: .596 average, 68 runs and 52 RBIs – in 36 games! The Alabama signee has certainly set the bar high for himself this year.