HATTIESBURG — It’s an all-star game week for high school baseball in the state of Mississippi.
The 48th annual Crossroads Diamond Club Coach D.M. Howie contests are taking place over a three-day span here at Milton Wheeler Field on the campus of William Carey University. The action began on Tuesday with the Class 3A/4A affair, and continues Wednesday at 5:45 p.m.,with the ClassA/6A game. Play wraps up on Thursday at the same time with the Class 3A/4A contest.
The games are for high school seniors only. In each contest, a North vs. South format will be followed.
In Wednesday’s largest classification game, the “Southern Six” is well represented as eight players were originally selected for the South Team roster. Those players are “Class 5A Mr. Baseball” T.J. Dunsford from back-to-back Class 5A state champion East Central, Caleb Dyess from Pearl River Central, McCarty English from Ocean Springs, Kaden Iriving from Gautier, Tanner Ladner from Hancock High, Josh Lee from Class 6A state runner-up Gulfport, D’Iberville’s Eli Page and Biloxi’s Bryson Pisarich.
Harrison Central head coach Neil Frederic, a Pascagoula native, is an assistant coach for the South squad.
Dunsford and English are Southern Miss signees, Lee is a Southeastern Louisiana University signee and Iriving signed with Ole Miss.
In The first game the Class 1A/2A game that was contested on Tuesday, a pair of players from back-to-back Class 1A state champion Resurrection were selected for the prestigious affair. Max Askew and Cole Tingle were the Eagles picked for the South Team. Tingle was also recently named the Class 1A “Co-Player of the Year”.
In the Class 3A/4A game that will be played Thursday, a quintet of players from the “Southern Six” were selected for the contest. Those players are Hill Gainey and Hugh LeMasters from St. Stanislaus, Otis Brooks and Jake Landgrave from St. Patrick and Dylan Welter from Pass Christian.
Also, Pass Christian head coach Ricky Smith is an assistant coach on the South squad. And, Colin Pipkin of Greene County was also picked for the team.
The games are considered the end of yet another athletics season across the Magnolia State each year, as they annually come on the heels of the state championships that wrapped up last week. The games are named after Howie, who was the first coach in the Mississippi High School All-Star Baseball Game in 1975. The all-star exhibition is now named after him. In 2011, the Mississippi Association of Coaches inducted Howie into its Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Howie passed away on July 20th, 2020 at the age of 90.