I went to New Hope High School late Wednesday afternoon and watched the Mississippi Stars team practice for about two hours. They are the elite Mississippi team going to the 12th Annual Junior Sunbelt Classic in McAlester, Oklahoma. The tournament starts this Friday. The team is coached by New Hope High School head baseball coach Stacy Hester.
Two of Mississippi State's commitments for the class of 2010 are on the team - Chase Lewallen
of Sumrall High School and James McMahon
of Oak Grove High School. I didn't get to see McMahon pitch since they only took batting practice and infield and outfield defensive practice.
My take on the two MSU commitments:
Lewallen, who hits from the left side, is an outstanding defensive infielder with a very good arm. Each player got 12 swings each (6 and 6) during batting practice. Chase, who is about 5-9 and very solidly built, hit 6 balls out of the park, including several over the left field fence and several over the right field fence.
McMahon, who hits from the right side, didn't show quite as much power but he hit either 2 or 3 out of the park. He also showed a good glove at third and a very good arm (despite recently pitching in a summer baseball game and participating in a 7-on-7 football camp).
Other players on the team (All are class of 2010 members unless otherwise noted):
Dillon Payne, Satillo High School
Nick Johnson, Ridgeland High School (Class of 2011)
Peyton Johnson, Madison Central High School - A catcher with a very good arm and a very quick release.
Patrick Barnes, Clinton High School (Class of 2011)
Taylor Byrd, Petal High School
Josh Rogers, Hillcrest Christian School
Chris Casto, EPEC
Jackson Posey, Sumrall High School - Tall kid with home run power to go with. Also has a good arm.
Austin Ray, Hernando High School - One of the coaches told me he is a pitcher who can hit 91-92 with his fastball.
Phillip Tice, New Hope High School
Alex Gunn, Clinton High School
Dillon Mitchell, Itawamba Ag High School - Plays right field and has a very, very good arm.
Austin Hartzog, Hillcrest Christian School (Committed to Ole Miss)
Deshun Dixon, Terry High School
Michael Manley, Terry High School
Chase Toussaint, Petal High School - Very good arm in left field. Also makes very good contact with the bat.
Austin Knight, Sumrall High School (Class of 2011)
Wes Rea, Harrison Central High School - Very good football player who is also a good baseball player. Has tremendous power, mostly to left field. One of his home runs hit near the top of one of the light poles.
Click here to go to the Sunbelt Classic series website.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.