PITTSBURGH -- Paul Maholm is like any major leaguer who wants to play for a winner. But for the southpaw of the Pittsburgh Pirates, that means being patient. Maholm, who pitched at Mississippi State from 2001-03, is in his sixth season with the Pirates and he has yet to play on a winning team. Pittsburgh hasn't had a winning season since the 1992 team made the playoffs, and Maholm is biding his time until the organization can reverse its fortunes.
The West Lowndes Amateur Athletic Union basketball program hopes it can finish the season as quickly as it started it. Coming off a 15-0 start, the West Lowndes' 17-and-under boys basketball team will join its other boys and girls age group teams at The King of Kings Summer Closeout, which begins this weekend in Memphis, Tenn.
CLEVELAND -- Swim Columbus' Corey Persons, Aaron Meek, and Ladd Chain and Shockwave's Hannah Wilson, Robert Fisher, Matt Williams, and Rachel Dees posted first-place finishes Sunday on the final day of the Long Course State Championships at Delta State University. Persons won the 13- to 14-year-old boys 100-meter backstroke in a time of 1 minute, 5.88 seconds. He also finished fifth in the 50 free (28.22). Meek won the 11-12 boys 50 back with a time of 36.08, while Chain won the 11-12 boys 50 freestyle (28.02) and the 11-12 boys 100 butterfly (1:12.05).
Brent Hallmark has been a mainstay on the mound for the Cotton States Baseball League - North Division's Tippah County Tribe all season. But today's starting assignment will be a little more special for Hallmark.
STARKVILLE -- Jack Bryan's quest to become an Eagle Scout and to help the tennis community is finally complete. Thirteen months ago, the longtime scout and tennis player envisioned replicating an existing pavilion at Starkville High School's tennis courts as his Eagle Scout project.
Ernest Robinson knows the importance of teamwork. As store manager at the Walmart in Columbus, Robinson realizes communication and coordination are two keys to helping any business or organization run smoothly.
The Cotton States Baseball League is coming to Lowndes County. The CSBL North Division, which is in its second year, will continue its effort to increase its fanbase when it will feature the Tippah County Tribe against the Golden Triangle Jets in a nine-inning game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at New Hope High School's Trojan Field.
WINONA -- The Columbus Americans made it through the Dizzy Dean 11-12-year old South State Tournament undefeated by beating West Point 18-3 in the championship game Tuesday. The Americans exploded for 11 runs in the bottom of the third inning to win the game in three innings by the mercy rule. "It was real exciting," Columbus Americans coach Billy White said. "I've been a coach for 22 years and, like I told the kids, this was the first time in 20 years a 12-year old team from Columbus won South State. This is a great group of kids."
The plan is in place. Now Sam Creekmore, Frank Dodds, Clark Richey, and the rest of the Cotton States Baseball League North Division have to see where it will take them. The CSBL's decision "to bring the game to the fans" continues this weekend when the collegiate summer wooden bat league will feature the Tippah County Tribe and the Golden Triangle Jets in a nine-inning game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Trojan Field at New Hope High School. The game is one of three the league is playing away from its home site in New Albany in an attempt to help it grow.
GRENADA ---- Josh Neal and Octavian Stallings combined on a three-hitter Thursday to pitch the Columbus Xplosion past the Mathiston All-Stars 14-2 in the Dizzy Dean 10-year old South State Tournament. Neal allowed one hit and struck out five in two innings and Stallings gave up two hits and fanned four in two innings as Columbus won by the 10-run mercy rule in four innings. Neal and Stallings were backed by a seven-hit attack, led by Jeremy Tate with an RBI triple and single. Also contributing were Cade Odom and Nathan Wilson with a double each, Neal with a single and two RBIs, and Leo Bell and Cody Bolin with a single each.
When it came time to select all-stars, coaches in the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority 11-12-year old baseball league decided to form two teams. As a result, Columbus will have two teams in the Dizzy Dean 11-12-year old South State Tournament at Winona this weekend. The Columbus American All-Stars and Columbus National All-Stars will be among 17 teams that will begin play Thursday in the South State Tournament.
During the summer as the coach of the Columbus Dental Yankees in the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority 10-year old baseball league, Bruce Neal didn't know what it was like to lose a game. Neal coached the Yankees to the league championship with an unblemished 15-0 record. "I asked the park how long it has been since a 10-year old team has gone undefeated and they couldn't tell me," Neal said. "They can't tell me how long it has been since that happened or if it's happened."
The Columbus All-Stars won't have to rely on a scouting report for their opening game in the Dizzy Dean Baseball 8-year old South State Tournament. Columbus will play an opponent its familiar with when it takes the field for its opener at noon Thursday at Winona. Columbus will get a chance to redeen itself when it plays Caledonia, which it recently lost to in a warmup tournament.
EUPORA __ The Columbus American All-Stars hit the ball Thursday the way coach Kelvin Smith believed they could. The Americans smacked the ball to win their first two games in the Dizzy Dean 7-year old South State Tournament, beating East Central 24-2 and Louisville 25-3. "We're having fun," Smith said. "We're trying to go all the way." The American are scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. today against the Columbus National All-Stars, who beat Eupora 26-5 on Thursday.
As a pitcher in high school and college, it was Andy Brown's objective to throw pitches the batters couldn't hit. Brown has an entirely different mindset now that he's a coach in the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority coach-pitch league. Brown, a 1995 graduate of Columbus High School who pitched at East Mississippi Community College, wants to place his pitches where his players can hit the ball. The 33-year old Brown hopes to be successful doing that when he coaches the Columbus National All-Stars in the Dizzy Dean 7-year old South State Tournament at Eupora.
The Columbus All-Stars will attempt to make their best pitch when they play in the Dizzy Dean 9-year old South State Tournament. Columbus coach Chad Altmyer is counting on pitching when his team plays in the tournament at Winona. "I think we have a very good group that's very competitive," Altmyer said. "I think it will depend on our pitching. As with 9-year olds, consistency is always the key. If we can be consistent on the pitchers' mound, I think we'll have a good shot to do really well." Columbus begins play in the tournament at 2 p.m. today when it goes against Winona.
One run was all that prevented West Point from playing in championship game of the Dizzy Dean High School World Series. West Point came up short in its bid to make it to today's championship game at Columbus High School's Sammy Fletcher Field by suffering a 5-4 setback to Center Hill in the semifinals. Center Hill will play for the championship at 6 p.m. today when it meets Neshoba Central.
The bigger-than-life portraits are gone from behind home plate, but the tradition remains. History -- in the form of signs on the outfield wall -- greets visitors once they enter Trojan Field. Beginning from the left-field corner and stretching around the field to the right-field corner, the yellow signs chart the success and the records of past New Hope teams. Members of the 2011 New Hope High School team hope one day to add to that tradition.
2. Harris, Heritage Academy will count on seniors to lead way HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Howland likes MSU's non-conference schedule COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Central Academy hopes to contend for state title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Walters column: Prep football season coming closer LOCAL COLUMNS