GREENWOOD – The quest for a state championship for the Starkville 11-year-old Dizzy Dean All-Stars by Clarksdale on Monday night.
After the runner-up finish in the state, Starkville head coach Terrell Hendrix still expressed his pride for the team with the way it fought throughout the state tournament.
“We started out four games being undefeated,” Hendrix said. “In these last two games, I feel like the scoreboard didn’t dictate how we played, but that we just fell short. I’m very proud of the this team and our coaching staff. We left it all on the field and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Starkville defeated Batesville 14-1 and Caledonia 6-4 to open the tournament last Thursday, then out-scored Independence 18-14 on Friday.
After Starkville edged host Greenwood 10-9 to reach the championship round, Clarksdale won a 14-4 decision on Sunday to force a second championship game.
Starkville started out Monday’s game against Clarksdale strong as with the help of a double play started by Brody Jones helped pitcher Casen Sanders face the minimum number of batters in the first inning.
After Clarksdale scored a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead, Starkville came back in the third to take a 2-1 lead as A’Braylen Jenkins reached base on a hit and stole home. Tyreq Hendrix was driven home on a hit from Sanders.
Clarksdale got a run to tie the game in its half of the third, then scored the other six runs in the sixth to regain the advantage and ultimately took the victory.
The members of the Starkville 11-year-old All-Stars are Sanders, Jenkins, Jones, Hendrix, Beau Cox, William Henry, Graham King, Julian Kraker, Landry Parker, Phillip Swann and Silas Walker. Assisting Hendrix on the coaching staff are Slade Kraker and Brady Sanders.