Siege of Vicksburg takes 13-year-olds’ tournament

Published 12:02 pm Monday, August 9, 2010

The two teams that opened the Governor’s Cup on Friday night closed it Sunday afternoon.

Standout pitcher Jekori Reed, a freshman at Vicksburg High, threw 32⁄3 innings of scoreless relief to lead the Siege of Vicksburg to a 7-3 win over intown rival Mississippi Madness in the 13-year-olds’ championship game.

Providing the offense were two Warren Central Junior High products, Marcus Ragan and Zach Cox. Ragan was devilish on the base paths with five stolen bases to go with three hits and two runs scored. Cox slugged a pair of solo home runs.

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The Siege capped off a perfect 4-0 run through the tournament that included a 7-5 win over the Madness in Friday’s opener. This summer, the Siege posted an 18-14 record.

“This is the best tournament we’ve played all year,” Reed said. “It’s been a good experience to play on this team. We have very good coaches. All I have to do is throw strikes and let my defense work.”

Reed induced a double play ball to get out of the fourth inning and keep the game tied at 3. Then he retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced to nail down the victory. He finished with three strikeouts.

“He’s been our ace all year because he can throw four different pitches for strikes and he’s not afraid to throw them,” said Siege coach Pat Chambers. “These kids have responded to playing under pressure. Early on you may could have rattled them, but not now.”

It helps to have speed. Ragan led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second and then scored on a double by Will Martin. Cox followed two batters later with a solo home run for a 2-0 lead. In the third, Ragan singled again and then stole second on a pitchout. He then swiped third base and got the run on a delayed steal when Martin strayed off first to induce a rundown.

“He’s fast. Best outfielder in Mississippi,” Reed said.

“My dad was pretty fast,” Ragan said. “I just try to use my speed to be a factor in the game.”

The Madness battled back from a 3-0 hole by getting a couple of hits, a walk and two hit batsmen to tie the game against Siege starter Josh Daffron. Reed’s lone mistake came when he hit Derrick Dolan on a 1-2 pitch with the bases loaded to force in Drake Dorbeck to tie it at 3. After that, he was tough.

The Siege retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Taylor Hollowell doubled and then scored on a fly out to right by Mario Doyle. Cox made it 5-3 in the sixth with his second solo home run.

“I had a great time playing with this team. These guys are crazy,” Cox said.

Matthew Chambers and Doyle followed with one-out hits and then scored on fielder’s choices from Reed and Sam Curtis for a 7-3 lead.

“That’s all you could ask for, to have two Vicksburg teams in the final,”Madness coach Brad Hasty said.

The Madness finished with six hits.