Starkville 10-year-olds handle opponents to claim Overall State crown

Starkville 10-year-old All-Stars
By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

There was no doubt in the mind of those who watched the Dizzy Dean 10-year-old Overall State Tournament on Saturday which team was the best on the field after the three games.
Starkville out-scored its opponents 29-1 in two games and won the state championship by handling Marshall County 13-1 in five innings and Grenada Youth 16-0 in only three innings.
Coach Steve McKee saw his Starkville squad develop over the last four years and knew it was something special in the making.
”We knew we were a pretty solid team,” McKee said. “We had been working together for four years. We really didn’t have to get in to my best pitching (on Saturday). The bats took care of things and the other team struggled with pitching. The bats came around and did a good job.
“We are really proud of these young boys and the way they played the game of baseball this weekend.”
In the championship game, it only took two big innings by the Starkville offense to let the wind out of the sails of Grenada Youth, which has taken a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Greenville earlier in the day.
Starkville was going to make it difficult for another Grenada Youth rally in the title outing with an eight-run first inning. Kade Waltmon had an RBI single in the frame, but Starkville mainly took advantage of errors from the Grenada Youth defense.
In the second inning, Starkville put up seven more runs to put the game away. The highlight of the inning was a solo inside the park home run by Luke McKenzie.
Starkville added an insurance run in the third inning as Luke Johnson walked and scored.
There wasn’t much in the way of hits for Starkville with only six total, but it knew how to take advantage of Grenada Youth miscues and finding ways to cross the dish.
Major Smith, Jonas Coleman and Bailey Kosko combined for the shutout on the mound for Starkville.
Smith was given an 8-0 cushion even before going out to pitch the bottom of the first inning. He worked one inning and struck out a pair of batters, while Coleman added a strikeout and Kosko had a pair.

First Game
Starkville 13,
Marshall County National 1,
five innings

The Starkville pitching trio of Smith, McKenzie and Cam Sherman held the Wildcats to one run over five innings.
Sherman worked the final three innings and got five strikeouts. Smith, the starter, and McKenzie had one strikeout each.
Starkville jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning, then Marshall County got its only run of the game in the second frame.
After getting a pair of runs in the fourth, Starkville put the game away with seven runs in the fifth.
McKenzie had two singles and an RBI double for Starkville, while Johnson had a pair of singles and Smith added an RBI double.
The rest of the Starkville 10-year-old state champs are Tanner McKee, Conner Lewis, Walker Hilbun, Daveon Tate and Samuel Buckner. Assisting McKee are coaches Erich Coleman, William Hilbun and Brad McKenizie.

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