Vicksburg trio selected to play in Florida showcase

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

While not quite the same American and National League teams of Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, three young Vicksburg baseball players will head down to Orlando, Fla., to play on teams of the same name.

Tyler Carter, Mincer Minor and Ryan Nelson were selected to the 2016 USSSA 9U Southeast Regional rosters to compete in the All-American Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex Aug. 7-13.

The All-American Games allow for the top 24 players split among eight regions to compete on a national stage. In a competitive twist, Carter and Minor have been placed on the American League roster, while Nelson is on the National League squad.

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Carter was upset to see Nelson on a different team, however, Nelson was simply happy to make it.

“I wanted all three of us to be on the same team,” Carter said.

Minor was proud to make the team as it showed off his hard work.

“I worked as hard as I could,” Minor said.

Nelson was speechless after finding out about his selection, although he had an inclination of making the team because the other members who made the cuts were good hitters.

“The rest of them had good fielding and a little bit of hitting,” he said.

Tryouts were held in various cities in the south, with Nelson and Carter driving up to Jonesboro, Ark., as Minor headed south to Baton Rouge, La. The process consisted of the guys hitting, pitching, fielding and running a 60-yard dash.

Minor was confident in his tryout, which he said comes from his heart.

“I felt like everybody else out there was not as good as I was,” Minor said.

The other two, however, felt nervous and doubtful of their performance.

“I was nervous that I wouldn’t make it,” Carter said. “At first I thought that if they made it to the tryouts they wouldn’t make any mistakes. But when I made it top three I knew I could do it.”

“I wasn’t hitting like I usually am. My fielding was good, my running was good but still just was a little nervous,” said Nelson, who attributed his hitting slump to his nerves. “I just wasn’t loading up. I wasn’t doing all that and everything was on my mind, not making it or making it.”

Before heading to Florida, the team will continue to hone their skills by practicing daily with the Vicksburg Thunder and seeking outside work from individual hitting coaches.

Individually, Carter has to fine-tune his fundamentals. Minor feels his hitting is OK but wants to get better, in addition to working on his fielding and staying in front of the ball.

Nelson also wants to work on his fielding by staying in front of the ball to avoid it rolling past him.