Doc Smith, Sports Correspondant
Jacksonville Daily Progress
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Texas Prospects 16U select baseball teams only loss at the IBC World Series in Florida came in the championship game as the Georgia Blackcrackers took a 6-5 win, to claim the title in the high school baseball showcase, at Walter Fuller Park, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Georgia squad jumped to a 5-0 lead but the Prospects battled back to a 5-5 tie until the top of the seventh inning when a RBI-single up the middle ended the game.
The game-winner for the Blackcrackers, kept the Prospects from staking a seventh national title in nine consecutive trips to the tournament with the 6-5, victory for Georgia.
“The kid’s played hard and do not have anything to hold their heads down about,” said the Prospects manager, Jeff Casey after the finals matchup. “These kids played some great baseball, but more importantly they represented the state, their hometowns, the organization, and their high schools the way I know everyone would be proud of them.
“They have been a great bunch to work with this summer, and they displayed a lot of character being down 5-0 to fight back and tie the game up,” Casey added. “They have all done a great job all summer, and each player has been an attribute both on and off the field.”
Three runs early on in the first inning had the Prospects playing catch up from the get-go.
In the fourth inning, the Prospects began to ship away as Kilgore Bulldog, Benny Colbert had an RBI-double, and Nathan Methvin of Spring Hill added a sacrifice fly. Ryan Casey of Canton added an RBI-infeld hit to account for a three-run answer by the locals for a 5-3 deficit.
Kale Ridley added an RBI-single in the fourth inning, scoring Colbert to make it a 5-4 score.
The Prospects fought back to tie the game 5-5 in the sixth inning when Garrett Huff, of Texarkana, Ark. – Genoa High School, used some baseball smarts and stole home.
Colbert led the Prospects at the plate, going 3 for 4, scoring twice and driving in one RBI.
Mason Hassell of Van, took the hard luck loss on the mound, after going the six-plus innings.
Hassell struck out three, walked four, and allowed five earned runs in his six innings of work.
Parker Towns of All Saints came on in relief and closed out the Blackcrackers.
The Prospects earned the championship bid with a win early on Saturday, with a huge first inning over the Indiana Eagles, in a four-inning win via the ten-run rule, 12-2.
Eight runs in the first inning got the Prospects rolling for the day,
Longview’s Dezmond Chumley racked up three hits (two triples), and three RBI’s to pace the win at the plate.
Chumley had RBI-triples in the first and fourth innings, and had a single in the second inning.
Camden Grant from Prosper High School, got the win on the mound allowing only two runs, scattering three hits, and walking four, pitching the entire four innings of the game.
The Prospects added on single runs in the second and third innings.
Indiana did manage to score two runs in a fourth inning flurry before the final two Prospect runs in the bottom of the inning ended the semi-final.
All-Saints player, Parker Towns blasted an RBI-double, and the Prospects took advantage of another Eagles miscue to top off the scoring for the win.
Team members for the national title-holders include Blake Maddox and Daniel Priddy of Bullard-Brook Hill, Cale Ridling and Garrett Huff from Texarkana, Ark.- Genoa High School, Hunter Anderson and Mason Hassell of Van, and Kilgore’s, Bennie Colbert and Joseph Shepherd.
Also on the roster are Chumley of Longview High School, Parker Towns of Tyler-All Saints, Austen Truett from Grand Saline, Jarred Bayless from Texarkana-Pleasant Grove, Camden Grant of Prosper, Spring Hill’s, Nathan Methvin, Ryan Casey of Canton, and Derek Craft from Hawkins.
The Texas Prospects are coached by manager, Jeff Casey, head coach, Brock Lemire, and assistants, Tyler Clakely and Chase Brewster.