MACJC state baseball tournament set for this weekend
From staff reports
May 2, 2002
The MACJC state baseball tournament is set for Friday-Sunday at Northwest Mississippi Community College's Ranger Field in Senatobia.
Northwest, No. 1 from the North Division, will face Jones, No. 2 from the South, and Pearl River, No. 1 from the South, will take on Holmes, No. 2 from the North, in first-round action Friday.
Pearl River and Holmes begin play at noon as Northwest has no lights. Jones faces Northwest at 3 p.m.
The four-team double-elimination tournament will conclude on Sunday.
Northwest has won the North Division championship three of the last four years. This year's Rangers are ranked No. 2 in the May 1 NJCAA Division II poll behind Parkland (Ill.) College.
Northwest, 33-7-1, has a .328 team batting average with Troy Martin (.417, 42 RBI), Brad Burkhead (.417, 31 RBI), Todd Hill (.394, 22 RBI), Adam Friga (.358), Matt Smith (.350, 38 RBI), and Brooks Oakley (.347, 34 RBI) leading the way.
Top Ranger pitchers are Brandon Rowan (6-1, 1.72), Josh Barton (6-1, 2.75), Jesus Albino (4-1, 3.16), Ernie Morales (7-1, 3.53), and Paul Fowler (5-2, 3.59).
Pearl River, 35-8, is ranked No. 12 in this week's NJCAA Division II poll. The Wildcats had a 16-game winning streak snapped with Tuesday's 4-3 loss to Chipola (Fla.).
Chipola is ranked No. 3 in this week's NJCAA Division I poll. Top Wildcat pitchers are Jered Salazar (9-3), Chris Thompson (9-2), and Collin Smith (5-0).
Holmes, 32-12, is led at the plate by A.J. Ray (.395, 34 RBI), Josh McNeer (.373), John David Massey (.368, 7 HR, 35 RBI), Bo Weems (.370), and Xan Barksdale (.364, 10 HR, 41 RBI).
Top pitchers are Mike Jones (8-3, 1.11), Mike Avalon (5-2, 1.63), Glover Allen (4-0, 0.68), and Ryan Taylor (5-4, 3.50). The Bulldogs received votes in this week's NJCAA Division II Poll. Jones is 24-21. The Bobcats are the No. 1 seed in the Region 23 Division I Tournament, May 9-12, at Meridian Community College. Jones is the only Division I team to qualify for the state tournament.
Box wins No. 300
Itawamba baseball coach Chuck Box recently picked up his 300th career win with a 22-4 rout of Coahoma. In four years at Itawamba, Box has a 148-57 record.
While at ICC, Box won an MACJC state championship in 1999 and set a school record for wins with 45 in 2000. Box coached at Freed-Hardeman University five years, going 157-110.
Watson Northeast bound
Six-foot-1 forward Jazz Watson of New Albany has signed with the Lady Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Community College. Watson averaged 10 points, 15 rebounds, and four blocks for the 2002 Class 3A state champions.
Headed to Holmes
Itawamba soccer coach/director of intramural athletics Matt Convertino has resigned at Itawamba to become men's and women's soccer coach at Holmes.
In three years, Convertino was 28-25-6 with the Itawamba men with his 2000 team finishing second in the state.
Anyone interested in the ICC job should contact Itawamba athletic director Tommy Morton at 662-862-8127.
Castle reaches milestone
Northwest Mississippi baseball coach Donnie Castle was recently honored between games of a doubleheader with Itawamba for coaching in his 1,000th game at the Senatobia school.
Castle reached the milestone in an 11-3 win over East Mississippi on March 23. An assistant for 17 years, Castle helped the Rangers compile a 506-276 record. After becoming head coach in 1997, Castle's teams are 183-57-2.
Cooper takes top honor
Itawamba's Marty Cooper has been named the MACJC men's basketball Coach of the Year. He was also named the Region 23 and NJCAA District 16 Coach of the Year.
ICC won its first Region 23 championship. Cooper also won an MACJC Coach of the Year award in 1992 while at East Central. Northeast's Ricky Ford was the women's MACJC women's Coach of the Year.