Mother Nature, not MHSAA, throws local baseball playoff teams a curve

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008

High school baseball playoffs begin on Friday and what has become usual, circumstances faced by the three local school participants are unusual at best.

It was two years ago when the Mississippi High School Activities Association, in all its brilliance, had Warren Central playing Vicksburg in the first round — but traveling to Southaven near Memphis to do so.

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

That format, luckily, was scrapped at the end of last year. Now in Class 5A, four division winners will host three-team “regionals” with the winner advancing to the next round. The format is similar to 2005, but division rivals were shipped to other areas of the state.

Warren Central, which will finish second in its division if it beats Greenville tonight, will play Grenada at DeSoto Central in Southaven next Thursday. Had WC finished first in its division, it would have hosted a three-team regional. Had WC finished third, it would have played at Tupelo, the nation’s top-ranked team as chosen by Baseball America magazine.

Clinton, which finished first in the division, will host a regional.

Class 1A St. Aloysius and Class 4A Vicksburg will both be on the road Friday with the Flashes playing at Bogue Chitto and the Gators at Neshoba Central in best-of-three series. Both schools are scheduled to host doubleheaders on Saturday.

Now the fun part begins.

Both St. Al and Vicksburg call Bazinsky Field home. On Tuesday, the fencing around home plate was still at a 45-degree angle after a storm damaged the field on April 4. Warren Central has been allowing St. Al and Vicksburg use of Viking Field, mostly because the schedules have cooperated.

Warren Central coach Randy Broome moved his Saturday game against Brandon to 1 p.m. instead of the scheduled 3 p.m. start time. Vicksburg is scheduled to follow at 5 with a potential doubleheader.

As Fate would have it, more rain is forecast for Friday, which could again throw the schedule into flux.

Having Viking Field occupied all day Saturday forced St. Aloysius to schedule its playoff games at Hinds Community College in Raymond. The Hinds team is on the road at Holmes, luckily, on Saturday leaving its home field available. Hinds has as nice a facility as any, but a 30-minute, two-county ride kind of takes away the aura of a home-field-advantage, doesn’t it?

It’s premature to start thinking about further playoff rounds. Bazinsky Field’s return is in limbo and it is possible two weeks down the line to have three playoff teams with home games and one field available.

Normally it is the MHSAA that screws up the playoff formats, but not this year.

We can blame Mom Nature for this one.


Sean P. Murphy is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. E-mail him at