Culkin 12s state-bound again

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Cole Smith allowed just two hits and one run in three innings to get the win. (The Vicksburg Post/MARK THORNTON)

[07/10/01] BRANDON The Culkin Critters cruised through their district tournament. Now they have set their sights on a second straight Dizzy Dean state championship and world series trip.

The Critters beat Madison-Ridgeland 10-5 Monday to win the 12-year-olds’ district title. They open at the state tournament in Starkville on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

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“We expected to win,” coach Bubba Mims said.

Michael Busby went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Spencer Carney homered for the Critters, who went 4-0 in the tournament.

Cody Ferguson went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Kyle Calhoun had a run-scoring triple. Tyler Wells went 2-for-4 and Hayden Hales had an RBI.

The Critters had three-run outbursts in the first and fifth innings to build a 9-1 lead before Madison started chipping away, pulling within four, 9-5, in the fifth inning.

Mims brought top pitcher Busby in to stop the rally. He pitched only three innings in the tournament, Mims said.

Cole Smith, who got the win, allowed only two hits and one run before making way for Eric Richards in the fourth.

“We beat this team 17-2 on Sunday, so I think they relaxed a little bit when it got to be 9-1,” Mims said.

He likes his teams chances at repeating in the state tournament.

“This group has played together since they were 8,” said Mims, who has coached the group since they were 9. “They’ve been there before.”