Tournaments will return to city despite glitches|[07/25/07]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One day after blasting the City of Vicksburg for its showing in hosting a Babe Ruth Baseball regional, official Robert Freeman said more tournaments will come to the city.

On Monday, Freeman, the Babe Ruth Southwest commissioner, hammered the city for a lack of a working public address system, lack of access to the press box and no-show city leaders.

On Tuesday afternoon during the championship game between two Texas teams, Freeman said Vicksburg’s apparent shortcomings from the weekend, will not hinder it from landing future tournaments.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

&#8220The things I said Sunday, needed to be said, but that being the case, many of the problems that were here were solved. This won’t affect Babe Ruth Baseball sending future tournaments here,” Freeman said. &#8220The biggest thing that was needed was for Marshall Upton to get more help and that takes an entire city involvement.

&#8220Having that civic involvement is important to Babe Ruth Baseball. This program thrives and needs that support. It’s important for the kids to see that their community leaders support them.”

North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield attended Tuesday’s championship game and handed out trophies following Mid-County’s 5-1 win over Tri-County.

The 16-year-olds’ regional was the first to be played in Vicksburg. Most Babe Ruth tournaments in the Southwest region tend to go to smaller towns in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. Gulfport hosted a 12-year-olds’ regional last week, and five years ago, hosted a 16-year-olds’ World Series.

With Tuesday’s win, Mid-County, out of the Beaumont, Texas, area, will advance to the Babe Ruth World Series in Bentonville, Ark., Aug. 11-18.

&#8220It is true we do go to areas where we know we can find support. But then again, this was Vicksburg’s first time to host a regional. We knew all things might not go smoothly,” Freeman said. &#8220Overall, this has been a good tournament. There are a lot of things they need to improve on and when we come back, we expect those improvements to be made.”

Freeman is a Crossett, Ark., native, and that city was hosting a 9-year-olds’ Southwest Regional. The Vicksburg Venom played in it, going 2-2 and finishing fifth.

&#8220I was actually supposed to supervise the Crossett regional but we have good help there and I was sent here. And this won’t be the last tournament we have here. I like the playing facilities and they have plenty of hotel rooms. All they really need is more support from the community,” Freeman said.

Mid-County coach Jimmy Collins who has coached in nearly 20 regionals backed up Freeman’s assessment.

&#8220They did pretty well for the first time. There were some glitches, but for these kids, this is mainly about playing baseball,” Collins said.

Mid-County 5, T-C 1

Mid-County ace Trae Hester fired a three-hitter to lead his team to the Southwest Regional title Tuesday.

The left-handed Hester struck out eight and fired six scoreless innings after Tri-County scored in its first at-bat.

&#8220I felt pretty confident out there. Once I got relaxed, I felt pretty good. My fastball worked well,” said Hester, who went 2-0 in the tournament. He won Friday night’s opener against the Vicksburg Gators 5-2.

Mid-County outfielder Matt Johnson was named the MVP Sportsmanship Award winner while Chad Sims won the Randy Lyons’ Memorial Bat Award.

Sims had an RBI flyout in the third to put Mid-County up 3-1. Leadoff batter Jordan Pitts led the way with two hits.