Local teams shine on final day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2001

[08/06/01] Vicksburg’s youth was king Sunday at the Governor’s Cup.

Teams from Warren County played for titles in five of the tournament’s six age groups and three the Vicksburg Dynamite (11-12-year-olds), the Vicksburg Hurricanes (9-year-olds) and the Vicksburg 14s (14-15-year-olds) won titles.

The Culkin Mudcats were declared co-champions of the 7-8-year-olds’ bracket along with Greenville when lightning ended their game in the third inning.

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Last weekend, the 5-6-year-olds’ Culkin Cubs and the 11-year-olds’ Vicksburg Blues advanced to the championship games of their divisions, but they lost.

“Vicksburg baseball has made an impact,” said Marshall Upton, coach of the Mississippi Mudcats, a group of Warren County players who fell 12-5 to Clinton in the 7-year-olds’ championship game. “… (Vicksburg baseball) is the talk of the state.”

In the one age group that a Vicksburg team didn’t win a title, a Vicksburg resident still came away as a champion. Steven Price led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo homer that sparked a six-run rally and sent the Reservoir Bulls to a 6-1 win over Washington County for the 13-year-olds’ title.

That game, like the 7-8-year-olds’ title game, was shortened by an intense thunderstorm that hit the Vicksburg area around 7:30 p.m. Fields could have been made playable after the brief downpour, but coaches said lightning in the area made them cancel for safety reasons.

Carlos Gonzalez had just driven in three runs to give Culkin a 4-1 lead in the 7-8-year-olds’ title game when the storm hit.

“They beat us this morning and we were leading in this game. We just agreed that it was the best idea,” Culkin coach Hank Hearn said.

Clinton did some storming of its own to a 7-0 lead.

Clinton scored six runs on seven straight hits to start the second inning, including a home run by Cale Luke and RBI singles by Whit Kendall and Jake Files, to open the lead.

A two-run home run by Kawayne Mason and an RBI single by Evan Grimes in the bottom of the inning helped the Mudcats cut it to 7-4, but Clinton added four more runs in the third to make it 11-4.

Travis Barnett’s RBI groundout in the fourth inning got the Mudcats back to within 11-5, but Clinton’s Heath Skelton scored the winner on a bases-loaded, infield single by Hunter Walker.

In coach-pitch divisions, games are five innings and teams are only allowed to score six runs per inning.

The win was a bit of revenge for Clinton the Mudcats had beaten them twice this year, including once in Clinton’s own tournament.

“It’s kind of funny,” Skelton said. “They won our tournament and we won theirs,” Skelton said.