Tide’s Bale in state all-star game

Published 3:57 am Tuesday, May 19, 2009

By CURTIS ROCKWELL

Item Sports Editor

PEARL — It has been an eventful month for Picayune’s Jared Bales.

The Maroon Tide standout, who was chosen as one of the best 12 players in the state before the season started, used both his pitching prowess and his powerful hitting to pace Picayune to the South State finals for the first time in six years before his squad fell to East Central.

On Monday, for his efforts, Bales, a University of Southern Mississippi signee, was selected to the South team for the prestigious state all-star baseball game.

Bales will take part in the Class 5A/4A contest of the annual D.M. Howie All-Star Baseball Classics on Saturday, June 6th at Trustmark Park, the home of the Class AA Mississippi Braves. The all-star games, which also includes a Class 3A/2A and 1A game, are sponsored by the Crossroads Diamond Club.

“We are very proud of him, because being selected for this game is a big, big honor,” Picayune head coach Cayne Stockstill said. “He is very talented, but he is also a very hard working and dedicated player. He deserves this honor.”

Bales, a catcher and pitcher, finished the season with a team high in home runs (seven), runs batted in (38) and batting average (.517) for the Maroon Tide, and was also a force on the mound going 3-2 but striking out 43 opposing batters in 45 innings and coming up with some huge games for Picayune on the mound as well.

In addition to leading the Tide to the Class 4A South State finals, Bales also watched as a change was made at the helm of the Golden Eagles, his collegiate destination, recently as Scott Berry replaced veteran head coach Corky Palmer who decided to retire.

Three days after the game, on June 9th, the annual Major League Baseball amateur draft will take place and Bales is expected to have his name called in the later rounds in that selection process as well.

East Central, which knocked off the Tide in the South State finals, had a pair of players named to the all-star game in Matt Linton and Joel Tanner. Linton, in fact, was the losing pitcher for the Hornets Monday night here at Trustmark Park as the defending state champions fell 4-2 in the third and deciding game of the Class 4A finals to new champ West Lauderdale.