Local players in all-star games

Published 3:45 am Friday, May 29, 2009

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

ST. MARTIN — The annual South Mississippi prep baseball all-star weekend will have a definite Pearl River County flavor.

The event, which features a pair of games, gets started tonight and finishes up on Saturday. Both games are set for 7 p.m., and will take place at Les French Field in St. Martin.

The Futures All-Star game takes place tonight, and annually features rising seniors and is dedicated to showcasing their respective talents.

The Seniors Classic takes place Saturday and consists of players that just recently wrapped up their prep careers and are moving on.

In the futures game, a pair of Pearl River Central players will be on the West roster along with a Picayune player. Blue Devils Aaron Lee and Ramsey Graham will participate along with Brandon Jurich of the Maroon Tide. Christian Talley of Hancock is also a part of the West team while Hawks head coach Anthony DeWitt is one of the West coaches.

The Seniors game features a half dozen local players as well as two area coaches.

Four Picayune players lead the way in the Saturday contest, as Jared Bales, Evan Nichelson, Hunter Gill and Bryce Ladner all were selected for the West squad.

PRC’s Blake Herrin and Cody Dillard will also compete for the West.

In addition, Picayune assistant coach Cody Stogner and PRC assistant coach Jeremy Cothran will team up to coach the West squad.

It will be the first of two straight all-star weekends for Bales, who will also participate in the prestigious Crossroads Diamond Club State All-Star Game next weekend in Pearl at Trustmark Park, home of the Class AA Mississippi Braves.

Bales and his three Picayune teammates will be looking to end their prep careers together on a winning note.

The quartet, along with Jurich, helped pace Picayune to the Maroon Tide’s first district championship in six seasons as well as Picayune’s first appearance in the South State championship since 2003 where the Tide fell to East Central.