PCA’s Holmes earns MVP honors in all-star romp

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 24, 2009

JACKSON — Saturday’s rain forced a venue change for the MPSA Class A All-Star game. Instead of the spacious confines of Trustmark Park in Pearl, four Porters Chapel Academy seniors made a return to the artificial surface and fake orange dirt of Smith-Wills Stadium.

The change seemed to suit them.

PCA’s Clayton Holmes was named the South’s Most Valuable Player for leading the squad with two hits, a run scored, and two stolen bases in the South’s 9-4 win in seven, rain-shortened innings.

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PCA’s Joe Borrello also drove in a run, Josh Hill went 1-for-2 and scored two runs, and Josh Perry went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Tallulah Academy’s Owen Clark was 1-for-2 with a key two-run double in the third inning for the South.

“This was a lot more fun than the football all-star game,” said Holmes, who along with Perry also represented PCA in the MPSA All-Star football game in December. “It’s a really good way to cap the year.”

Holmes helped the Eagles claim the Class A baseball championship last week with a two-game sweep of Bayou Academy. Although he played infield for the Eagles, Holmes started in right field in the all-star game and made a nice running catch to end the first inning.

Most of the fun for Holmes and his Eagle teammates came at the plate. In the fifth inning, he switched jerseys with Heidelberg Academy’s Jamie Keenan.

“We were just messing around. Everybody started doing it. I wore one from Heidelberg. Did pretty good in it. Got a hit, stole a base and scored a run,” Holmes said with a laugh.

The players also wore a pink elbow sleeve during their at-bats.

“It was pretty fun, wearing all this different stuff,” Borrello said.

Borrello started the game in his black PCA jersey and then switched to a white one in the final two innings. The first baseman drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

The game was originally scheduled to go nine innings. But after the Class AA-AAA game finished with a 26-5 South blowout, time and weather became an issue.

Hill, who started behind the plate, didn’t mind.

“This was still pretty exciting. This was a good way to end my high school career,” Hill said.

Hill, Borrello and Perry are all planning to attend East Mississippi Community College next fall. They might try out for the baseball team. Holmes said he was going to try and walk on at Mississippi State.

Tallulah’s Clark had the game’s biggest hit, a two-run double that sailed over the right fielder’s head. The hit broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning and allowed the South to take a 4-1 lead.

“I was glad to get a clutch hit,” Clark said. “At least I could brag about something. All game I was hearing from the PCA guys about how they won state.”

Clark said he will attend Baton Rouge Community College next fall.

The South led 5-2 after three innings and 6-3 after five. The middle four innings were played without rain. It started raining again in the sixth as the South scored three more runs to go up 9-3.

University Christian’s Mark Kaplan had a pair of one inning stints on the mound while Franklin Academy’s Hunter Cavalier pitched the third inning to grab the win.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com