Mudcats take division

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Mississippi Mudcats played Saturday in the Firecracker Classic.

The Mississippi Mudcats played Saturday in the Firecracker Classic.

The Firecracker Classic, a youth boy’s baseball tournament, took place at Picayune’s Friendship Park Saturday and Sunday.
The Mississippi Mudcats were one of about 40 teams that competed in the tournament. Other states represented in the tournament included Louisiana and Alabama.
The Mudcats, who competed with six 8-year-olds and three 9-year-olds, went 4-0 in the tournament and won the 9-year-old division.
The Mudcats defeated the Oakgrove Explosion 6-5 Sunday in the championship game.
Head coach Eli Ouder was very proud of his team, and said that this tournament was the first time his players played a kid pitch game.
“Normally they are used to playing a game where the coach pitches them the ball,” said Ouder.
Ouder said the pitcher he started had never before pitched during a game, but was able to go three solid innings, only giving up three runs.
Ouder’s team is a travel team made up entirely of kids from Pearl River County.
The Mudcats ended last season with a record of 49-16, and have a current record of 39-20.
Ouder has been with this group of players since they were six years of age, and said he has always enjoyed coaching.
“I have been coaching youth sports for about 18 years,” said Ouder.
This was the second year the tournament has been hosted at Friendship Park, said tournament organizer Billy Vaughn.
“We really had a good time last year, Heath does a great job at that facility,” said Vaughn of Parks and Recreation director Heath Stevens.

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