Vicksburg teams endure rough day at CupVicksburg Baseball, Jammers fall short in quests for titles

Published 11:27 am Monday, August 6, 2012

It was a tough final Sunday for Vicksburg teams in the Governor’s Cup.

Vicksburg Baseball made the 13-year-olds’ championship game, but ran out of gas against the Jackson Jaguars and lost 12-0 in four innings.

The Vicksburg Braves lost their morning quarterfinal to the Ouachita Pride, 7-4, in the 11-year-olds’ division. The Vicksburg Billies also lost Sunday morning, 13-0 to the Red Raiders out of Shreveport in the 11’s quarterfinals. The Mississippi Jammers lost in the 7-year-olds’ finals.

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For Vicksburg Baseball coach Scott Verhine, just making a Governor’s Cup title game was a big accomplishment.

“This is our first finals in the seven years we’ve put a team in the Governor’s Cup,” Verhine said. “We beat the Bulls 8-4 earlier in the day behind Rett (Verhine) and Josh Lieberman’s pitching. But that was a great team we played there in the championship.”

The Jaguars were loaded with talent. The core of the team was made up of the Jackson 96ers’ 13-year-olds’ travel team. Jaguars coach Todd Brooks added some players from Madison Central and Madison Ridgeland Academy to play in the Governor’s Cup.

“We’ve put a team like this together for this tournament the last five years or so,” Brooks said. “We had five from the 96ers, with two from Central Hinds, and that includes (Wesley) Grantham who was our ace. He threw five innings this weekend and did not give up a run.”

The last three of Grantham’s innings came in a title game start against Vicksburg Baseball.

The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Joshua Brown, then struck out the next five batters.

Vicksburg Baseball starter Casey Griffith had two shutout innings of his own but ran into trouble in the third.

The Jags got the first four batters on in the third inning off an error, two bunts and a single. Three of the four scored for a 3-0 lead and forced Verhine to make a change, bringing in Garrett Breithaupt.

The Jags roughed him up too, with six hard-hit balls. One was caught for the second out, two were botched for errors and the other three fell in for hits to plate four more runs for a 7-0 lead.

Austin Willis led off the bottom of the third inning with Vicksburg’s last hit against Grantham. Grantham finished with six strikeouts in three innings of work. He did not pitch the fourth because the Jags put five more runs up for a 12-0 lead. Brooks turned the game over to reliever Matthew Myers, who struck out the side to finish the game by the run rule.

Matt Crowder had a two-run homer for the Jaguars in the top of the fourth inning. It was his third homer of the tournament.

LA Thunder 8,

MS Jammers 0

It was a feast or famine type day for the Mississippi Jammers in the late rounds of the 7-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup.

The famine came in the championship game against the Louisiana Thunder, which blanked the Jammers for the title.

Chase Smith had a double and A.J. Griffith had a single to account for the Jammers’ offensive output.

But the page has turned on this year and the Jammers are looking forward to playing 8-year-olds’ ball in 2013. The Jammers won nearly 60 games this summer, and finished second in both the 7- and 8-year-olds’ Governor’s Cup tournaments.

“We’ve had a long year, played in a lot of tournaments and we just came up just a little bit short this time,” Jammers assistant coach Jacob Brister said. “We plan to stay together, play a lot more baseball and bring home some more trophies.”

In the semifinals, the Jammers beat the Reservoir Storm 8-7. Braxton McCurley had a triple and two doubles and scored six of the Jammers’ runs.

Preston Lynch and Vic Sutton had two singles apiece for the Jammers (58-16).

Sports editor Steve Wilson contributed to this report