Vicksburg inching closer to championship

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 15, 2002

Josh Hill of the Vicksburg Heat celebrates with teammate Jared Thames, left, after scoring the final run in a 10-0 win over North Jackson on Sunday in the 11-year-olds’ Cal Ripken State Tournament.(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[07/15/02]Vicksburg Heat coach Boozer Emerson said Saturday he wanted another crack at North Jackson.

His team made the most of it.

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Behind a strong pitching performance from Kurt Cooksey and a powerful offense, the Heat beat North Jackson 10-0 in the Cal Ripken 11-year-olds’ State Tournament Sunday at Halls Ferry Park.

Vicksburg, playing in the loser’s bracket, will finish its game against Bayou View today at 2 p.m. That game was rained out with the Heat winning 7-1 in the fifth inning. With a win, the Heat will play Meridian at 4 p.m.

“We came out and scored early,” Heat coach Boozer Emerson said. “And I don’t think they were ready for Kurt (Cooksey).”

Cooksey had five strikeouts in the five-inning, mercy-rule shortened game and repaid the Jackson team for the opening loss of the tournament.

“We were able to hit Cooksey last time, this time we weren’t,” Jackson coach Jim Ingram said. “He was on and our guys were behind the pitch.”

The Vicksburg bats had no problem finding the pitch as they smothered the Jackson pitching with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to seal the game.

“They hit us, they hit us hard,” Ingram said.

“I think that just took the wind out of us.

“… I don’t know what the Vicksburg coaches did to get their team so focused, but that was the difference in this ballgame.”

Cooksey went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and Ryan Ferrington went 1-for-2 with two RBIs to lead the Heat’s offense.

Vicksburg carried the momentum into the late game against Bayou View and it didn’t seem anything could cool the Heat until rain prevailed in the bottom of the fifth with Vicksburg leading 7-1.

Emerson leaves no doubt on his prediction of winning the tournament after falling into the loser’s bracket on the opening day.

“I told them five (games) and we’re down to two,” Emerson said. “We’ll be ready.”

Bayou View 18, Oxford 8

Pitcher Keaton Day earned the win in one inning of work as the Bayou View offense put on a hitting clinic. Day also went 3-for-3 and scored two runs.

Clinton 5, Meridian 4

Pitcher Clayton Kabbes took home the victory in what turned out to be a nail-biter of a game to leave Clinton as the only unbeaten team of the tournament. Clinton’s Morris Grant put together his own streak with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate and scored one run.

Clinton will play in the championship game at 6 p.m. and will have to be beaten twice to lose the title.Vicksburg inching closer to championship Vicksburg inching closer to championship