Vicksburg Baseball stays alive Billies, Braves earn byes in 11-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup

Published 11:29 pm Saturday, August 4, 2012

Josh Lieberman and Landon Middleton combined for a four-hit shutout to keep Vicksburg Baseball alive in the 13-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup Saturday evening.

Coach Scott Verhine’s team, which consists players primarily from the St. Aloysius junior varsity, blanked the Meridian Red Sox 8-0 in the opening game of seed play at Halls Ferry Park. Vicksburg Baseball will face the top-seeded Brandon Bulls today at 11 a.m. in the semifinals.

The win was Vicksburg’s second of the day against the Meridian-based team. They won the first game at noon 8-6 as Lieberman and Rhett Verhine slugged back-to-back solo home runs. Earlier in the morning, they lost to the Bulls 11-5.

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Scott Verhine was proud of the way his team held up after playing three games in one day.

“We just put together this team 10 days ago and it’s basically a reunion tournament for us because this used to be our old travel team,” Verhine said. “We’re just glad to make it through today after playing three games and we’ll meet the Bulls again in the morning.”

Lieberman struck out three in his three innings of shutout work. Middleton pitched a scoreless fourth and the offense struck for five runs in the bottom half of the inning for a 6-0 cushion.

Lieberman paced the offense with two doubles while Russell Brown had one double. Rhett Verhine and Willis had singles.

In other action in the division, the Warren County Warriors earned the third seed in the elimination bracket and will face Vicksburg Toyota today. They beat Vicksburg Toyota 9-6 earlier Saturday, but lost to the Madison Jaguars 6-5 after taking a 5-1 lead after two innings. Camdon Kurtz and Matthew Newcomb had a hit and scored a run apiece in the Madison loss.

Vicksburg Toyota had a 9-0 loss to the Jaguars and were seeded sixth.

Bayou Gators 11, Vicksburg Stars 6

The Stars were eliminated in Saturday afternoon’s first elimination game as the Gators (Monterey, La.) ripped 11 hits.

Freddie Mango had a solo home run for the last of the Gators’ runs in the fifth inning. He also had an RBI double to key a decisive seven-run third inning that erased a 4-2 Star lead.

Despite the loss, Stars coach Sherman Simpson was happy with the progress his team made following the conclusion of league play.

“We threw this team together after our league was done and got to play in four tournaments, including the all-star state tournament, where we finished third,” Simpson said. “We just ran into a good ball club today. At least we had the comeback win Friday. It was the highlight of this tournament.”

The Stars were led by Cole Pittman, Ryan Theriot and Taylor Lampkin, who had one single and a run scored apiece.

While the Stars were eliminated, the Vicksburg Billies and the Vicksburg Braves earned second and third seed byes. The Billies will face the winner of 7-10 seed game at 11 a.m. while the Braves get the 6-11 seed winner at 1 p.m.

The Braves went 1-0-1 in pool play with the tie coming Saturday against Sheets Baseball, 8-8. The Monroe-based Sheets Baseball is a travel team managed by current Atlanta Braves pitcher Ben Sheets. Both of Sheets’ sons are playing in the Governor’s Cup.

The Billies bounced back from a Friday night tie to smash the Cobras 8-4.