HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - West Lauderdale High School pitcher Ben Ethridge had a blast Saturday afternoon at Milton Wheeler Field.
For that matter, so did his 3A/4A South squad teammates during their showcase in the 45th annual D.M. Howie/Crossroads Diamond Club all-star baseball games this weekend on the William Carey University campus.
“I like facing the best competition,” said Ethridge, a University of Southern Mississippi signee. “It makes easier to see if you’re good or not, so I enjoy it.”
The South certainly enjoyed itself. After scoring three runs in the first two innings, the South saw the North pick up a run in the fifth inning to get within 3-1.
But the South scored two runs each in three consecutive innings to pull away to a 9-1 victory.
“We sat down (Friday) night and kind of scripted the game out a little bit, and then was just watching it (Saturday), watching a bunch of really good athletes,” said West Marion High School coach Derrick Jerkins, co-coach of the South team with Magee High School coach Allen Eubanks.
“You wish you could have them for 365 days. It’s really nice.”
Ethridge, who started the game and picked up the win, was named the defensive player of the game. Southeast Lauderdale High School’s Dakota Boney was named the game’s offensive player.
Mooreville High School’s Will Armistead was named the North’s Most Valuable Player. West Marion High School’s Shelby Terrell was named the South’s Most Valuable Player.
“It was special, getting to meet new players and make friends with a lot of the players you play against during the season,” said Terrell, a Pearl River Community College signee. “A lot of talent out here, and it’s fun to win.”
In the 1A/2A All-Star showcase Saturday morning, the South picked up a 6-4 victory.
The South’s Most Valuable Player was Enterprise (Clarke County) High School’s Seth Williams. The North’s Most Valuable Player was Thrasher High School’s Shawn Dalton Weatherbee.
The game’s best defensive player was named Enterprise (Lincoln County) High School’s Landon Gartman, while the best offensive player was Taylorsville High School’s Raven Arrington.
Each of the showcases also presented special awards, two honoring past players, another honoring a long-time assistant baseball/Crossroads Diamond Club officer.
In 5A/6A, Lewisburg High School’s Landon Rogers received the Mark Vinson Award after the North team took a 5-2 victory Friday night.
In 3A/4A, Northeast Jones High School’s Tyler Harper received the Phillip O’Brien Leadership Award. In 1A/2A, Enterprise (Lincoln County)’s Hunter Richardson received the Randy Makamson Award.