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Valley, La. Tech meet at Bazinsky Tuesday night

[04/10/01] Sid Beauman wanted some exposure for the city of Vicksburg, Doug Shanks wanted some for his baseball program. Putting their heads together, they decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Shanks’ Mississsippi Valley State baseball team comes to Bazinsky Field Tuesday night to face Louisiana Tech in the first college baseball game in Vicksburg since 1997, when a drenched field forced Mississippi College to play Illinois Wesleyan here.

The game starts at 6, and admission is free. Valley will take batting practice at 3 p.m.

Vicksburg High, which plays its home games at Bazinsky, will play division foe Gentry at Mississippi Valley Tuesday at 4.

Tech beat New Orleans in two of three games over the weekend. The Bulldogs also beat Valley 15-1 in February.

Senior Craig Montgomery bats .353 and sophomore shortstop Wade Robinson bats .350 too lead Tech.

Beauman, the city’s Parks and Recreation director, said it’s an opportunity to showcase Vicksburg’s facilities for an annual game between the two schools.

“We are going to try to talk to them about making this a yearly deal. We want to make it the first game of the year, though. The first college game in the state of Mississippi,” Beauman said. “It’s a good meeting place, especially for a team like Louisiana Tech. It’s kind of halfway for them.”

Beauman said he’s been courting more than just Valley and Tech, however he’s courting the entire Southwestern Athletic Conference.

He’s had talks with Alcorn State and Jackson State to play some baseball games at Bazinsky, and lost on a bid to host this year’s SWAC tournaments in baseball, softball, track and field, golf and tennis.

Beauman said the city would try again when the tournament sites are selected for 2003. One city is selected to host all of the tournaments.

“I think we will,” he said. “That’s a big thing, especially the track and field. That’s world-class.”