Young Ball Players Perform at M.G.C.C.C. Showcase

With the World Series taking Thursday night off as the teams traveled to San Francisco, Coast residents had to look elsewhere for their baseball fix. Luckily, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College showcase was Thursday evening in Perkinston, where the best of the best in the Fall Wooden Bat League showed off their skills for college coaches and scouts.

It is said that diamonds are forever, and while that doesn’t mean a baseball diamond, to a young ball player, it rings just as true. Jack Schmidt, outfielder, says, "It’s great to get exposure to these college coaches and it’s also a great opportunity to practice and get ready for the upcoming high school season and help your team out."

Thursday night’s game puts the best of the best from the Fall Wooden Bat League on display for coaches from around the state. Darrell Montifort, catcher, says, "Juniors and seniors, coming to showcase our talent and hopefully get looked at, go to college and play baseball."

Barry Lyons played professional baseball for 14 years and won a World Series in 1986 with the Mets. Working his way up from the bottom, he knows better than anyone what it takes to make it to the pros. Lyons says, "Reinforcing and enhancing the fundamentals, a lot of time, kids are taught certain ways to do certain things, but if they don’t do the repetitions over and over and over and over, and develop those skills until they’re natural and they react instead of having to think through situations."

With young players like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout making a splash in the majors, these fall leagues help these players develop their skills so they can make it to the next level. Montifort also says, "I’d love to play in the major leagues and make it to the World Series, of course, I mean, what kid wouldn’t? It’s a dream."

Schmidt also says, "Right now, I’m just trying to be the best I can and help out my high school team, and if that leads to playing at the next level, that’s great."

Some players will have to watch college baseball from the stands, but if one of the players catches a coach’s eye, their dream could come true. Rodney Batts, Head Baseball Coach for M.G.C.C.C., says, "Being a new coach here, I don’t know everybody. I’ve not seen everybody down here, so it’ll be a good experience to be able to see them showcase their ability tonight."

Until then, they’ll play hard every game. Montifort says, "Always work hard and it’ll pay off. Just keep grinding every day."

Schmidt closes, "To get there, you have to work a lot harder than everyone else. That’s what it’s all about really."

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