3 Eagles earn spot as academy all-stars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

[5/18/04]Porters Chapel Academy is becoming a breeding ground for future all-stars.

For the second straight year, PCA will send the maximum three players pitcher Ryan Hoben, first baseman and pitcher Justin Boler and infielder Humphrey Barlow to the MPSA Class A-AA All-Star game.

It’s the sixth straight year that PCA has had at least one all-star, and the fourth time in that span that the school has had two representatives. The game is scheduled for May 29 at 6 p.m. at Mississippi College.

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“I think it shows where the program is,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “The fact that we’ve been able to get guys on the all-star team shows we have the respect of other teams from around the state. I think it speaks well of the program.”

While the three Eagles all will see playing time in the game, it might not be at the positions they’ve played all season long.

Hoben, who has gone 9-2 this year with a 1.41 ERA, was selected as a catcher. He played that position last season, but moved to second base when he wasn’t pitching this year. Hoben was selected as Defensive Player of the Year in Conference 5-A, and was one of nine all-conference selections for PCA.

Boler was picked as an outfielder, one of several positions he has played in his high school career. The left-handed transfer from Vicksburg High has played first base and pitcher for PCA this year, and leads the team with a .488 average. He is tied with Hoben for the team lead with seven home runs, and is second with 47 RBIs. He was selected the Conference 5-A Offensive Player of the Year.

Barlow, meanwhile, will likely play his natural positions of first and third base. He has slumped this season after a stellar junior campaign in which he hit .445. Barlow is “only” batting .378 this spring with four homers and 38 RBIs.

The individual numbers are impressive, but the biggest number for the Eagles is still two. That’s how many times they have to beat Heidelberg to claim their second straight state title when the Academy-A championship series resumes.

Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3, originally were scheduled as a doubleheader at PCA on Friday. Rain delayed the series that day, and again on Monday. The death of PCA athletic director Bubba Mims on Sunday, however, has postponed the series indefinitely as the Eagles try to deal with the loss.

In addition to his duties as athletic director, Mims served as the school’s football, powerlifting, and golf coach. He was also an assistant baseball coach this season, and has two sons, Gerald and Judd, who play for PCA. Gerald Mims is the team’s starting center fielder.

“We’ve talked to the coaches down there (at Heidelberg) and they completely understand the circumstances,” Wright said. “They told us to just let them know when we’re ready to play again.”