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franklin county times

Local stars show off for scouts in tournament

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
June 24, 2004
Five of Lauderdale County's top baseball prospects headed west last week for one of the nation's top talent showcases.
The Junior Sunbelt Classic Tournament, which wrapped up June 16 in McAllester, Okla., featured All-Star teams from eight states and Canada that battled just as much for attention from scouts as for the tournament championship.
Still, the presence of scouts from college programs and nearly every Major League Baseball team was imposing. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss each had representatives at the tournament, as did other high-profile schools like Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt and Kansas State.
The Mississippi team finished in 6th place with a 4-6 record in the tournament, with victories over Oklahoma, Arizona, Canada and eventual-champion Georgia.
Chance was joined in the tournament by Meridian ace Tyler McMullen and West Lauderdale standouts Parker Temple, Dave Woods and Ricky Gardner. McMullen and Gardner were two of just five players on the roster who are not rising seniors, and Gardner was the squad's lone sophomore.
McMullen and Chance combined for a nine-inning victory over Oklahoma's gold squad in Mississippi's third game of the tournament. McMullen pitched the first seven innings of the contest and also hit a home run before Chance came on for the last two innings and picked up the win.
It was one of several attention-grabbing performances by the Lauderdale County contingent. McMullen had a double and three RBIs in the win over Georgia and was 1-for-3 against Oklahoma's blue team. Chance went 1-for-2 against Tennessee.
Woods tallied the team's third-highest hits total with six, including two home runs and two doubles. Woods also collected five RBIs.
The players' accomplishments were even more impressive against what McMullen called the toughest competition he has ever faced.
But after succeeding against such tough competition, Chance said he brought home more than just memories.

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