Area players to see action in all-star games
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
June 9, 2001
If only former Meridian Community College baseball coaches Corky Palmer and Scott Berry could sign all the talent that's going to be on their baseball field at the University of Southern Mississippi today, they'd be happy campers for the next four years.
USM's Pete Taylor Field will be loaded with the state's baseball talent today for the annual Crossroads Diamond Club All-Star Baseball Games.
The Class 1A-2A-3A game is set for 2 p.m. with the Class 4A-5A contest on tap for 7 p.m.
Seven high school players from the area will be participating, including three from Lauderdale County. A former area athlete will participate as a coach.
The lone local representatives in the Class 4A-5A game are Sanduan Dubose of Meridian and Phillip Garrett of Northeast Lauderdale. They will play for the South team.
Dubose, who played third base for the Wildcats as they went 25-15 and reached the Class 5A South State championship series, batted .452 with 13 doubles, 7 HRs, and 37 RBIs this spring. He also received 33 walks. He has signed with Meridian Community College.
Garrett played for the Trojans of Northeast who turned in a 14-10 showing in 2001. He has also inked with MCC.
Other members of the 4A-5A South team include Josh Grant (10-1, 2.96 ERA), Cliff Russum, Craig Tatum (.436, 8 2B, 9 HR, 54 RBI), and Matt Shepherd of Class 5A state runner-up Hattiesburg, 30-9.
On the North 4A-5A team are Taylor Tankersly (13-0, 0.44 ERA, 165 strikeouts), Kevin Coker, and Brent Towne of Class 5A state champion Warren Central, 36-3, and Jake Bell (.402, 12 2B, 39 RBI, 10-3, 2.04 ERA) of Class 4A state champion Pearl, 35-9.
The 18-man North roster also includes six players from Class 5A quarterfinalist Madison Central, 22-7.
In the 1A-2A-3A game are Brad McKee of Class 3A state champion West Lauderdale, Craig Martin and Jake Nester of Class 1A state runner-up Lake, Ty Culpepper of Philadelphia, and Nijel Young of Noxapater. All but Young are on the South roster.
One of the South coaches is Hickory native Mark Fanning who now coaches at St. Andrew's. He led the Saints to a state runner-up finish in Class 2A this season in going 24-15.
McKee batted .425 with five homers and 40 RBIs for the 36-5 Knights this spring. He stole 10 bases in as many attempts.
Martin was 9-2 with a 1.96 ERA for the 28-9 Lake Hornets. At the plate, he batted .377 with 12 doubles and 34 RBIs. He struck out 85 batters in 79 innings and will play for Mississippi College next year.
Nester had five doubles, eight homers, scored 45 runs, and had 31 RBIs for Lake. He also drew 40 walks and was 6-0 on the mound with a 2.45 ERA.
Culpepper, a selection to the 2001 Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 2A All-State Team, batted .375 with five homers and 33 RBIs for the 22-9 Tornadoes who reached the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
Young went 5-2 with a 1.23 ERA for Noxapater this spring. He turned in six complete games and struck out 58 as the Tigers, 13-9, made the first round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
Other members of the North team are Class 1A state champion Hamilton's Josh Baty, John Ross McCartney, and Lance Reed and Chad Greenlee of Class 2A state champion Mooreville.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.