The Starkville 8-year-old All Stars are coming into the Dizzy Dean World Series with a lot of confidence.
The All-Stars face off against Bradley (Tenn.) North Heat today at 1 p.m. at Snowden Grove Park in Southaven.
Starkville is coming off a good showing in the state tournament and coach Tom McReynolds hopes that carries over.
McReynolds' squad knows what it is like to have its backs against the wall and have to battle.
"We won five-straight games in the loser's bracket and then we just sort of ran out of gas playing our third game on that Saturday," McReynolds said. "The kids were just tired that last day."
The will to never give up seems to have inspired Starkville and has given it a great deal of confidence in knowing that it can play when the pressure is on.
"We got some confidence," McReynolds said. "We were fielding real good, (but) we just ran out of hitting. We were just so tired that we just couldn't hardly pick the bats up that third game on Saturday. The reason why we are playing with pretty good confidence is we have played in all these warm up tournaments and we are 16-5. Three of the losses have come to teams we have come back to beat pretty handily."
The first round is pool play with four teams in Starkville's draw. Along with Bradley, the OP Sharks and the Hobgood Heat comprise Starkville's pool.
"This is a good opportunity for us to play some teams from other states and see where we stack up," McReynolds said.
There are 50 teams in the tournament.
On Friday, Starkville takes on the OP Sharks at 10 a.m. and the Hobgood Heat at 1 p.m.
"I don't know anything about them and I'd rather not know," McReynolds said.
The tournament bracket can be seen online at http://www.snowdengrovebaseball.com/custom/TournamentContent/381-12DDWS_... . The website lists every game with all the different tiers after pool play.