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Aug, 2018

12-year-olds finish second in state tourney

By John Davis

Oxford Park Commission

Kevin Terrell said he couldn’t be any prouder of a baseball team than the one he just got done coaching. Terrell helped guide players associated with the Oxford Park Commission to a second-place finish in the 2018 Dizzy Dean 12-year-old state tournament held in Senatobia. Oxford finished 10-4-2 overall in summer league action. 

Terrell’s group were second in a tournament in Horn Lake. They also learned how to become a better team, the hard way, in a tournament in Olive Branch. Every time the team faced adversity, they found a way to get better. Terrell saw that in the three wins the team put together the Sunday before the championship.

“We lost to a very good Grenada Youth team on Saturday and had to turn around and beat Batesville first thing Sunday then beat Grenada twice to win the North championship,” Terrell said. “These kids sucked it up and played their hearts out and accomplished that. We won a close game against Batesville to start and burned up some good pitching. Jake Melton pitched an absolute 6-inning gem in game one of the north championship to win game one, then they gutted out a 11-10 game to win the North. I told them after the game I had never been prouder of a group of kids in my life at how hard they fought to win three games in one day.”

Oxford was thin on pitching heading into the final day, Terrell said. He said Karson Guest stepped up and performed “superbly” on the mound for four innings. 

“That was huge for us because we had 13 kids and Karson didn’t play probably as much as he wanted to, but he stepped up when we called his number,” Terrell said. “I was so happy for him and his family. We also had our starting second baseman Lawson Fortner break his right arm on a freak play in the semifinal game on Monday and these kids kept going. We ran out of gas and pitching in championship game, but I’d love a shot at the team we played with our best versus their best.”

A run to the championship didn’t come without some tests along the way. Terrell said his team was tested by a good Senatobia team. After gaining a 6-0 lead, Senatobia rallied to take the lead. Oxford had to overcome that in the late innings in order to advance. 

 “I felt like the boys really started to believe in what us coaches had been telling them through all of our practices: that they had the talent to do special things this summer,” Terrell said. “Overall, as a team we were pretty balanced, but if I had to pick one thing we were a little better at, I’d say we were a hitting team from top to bottom. It didn’t matter who I put in there they hit the ball and that is an absolute luxury to have as coaches. We had some great arms, too, that could stop a team when need be.”

Another key to success, Terrell felt, was the overall body of work the players got during the OPC spring season.

“The OPC season was a huge help to this team, the talent was spread out evenly throughout all the teams in league play which made most every game a good game and I think it help prepare these kids to play at this level since all of the great talent on this team they had played against each other all year,” Terrell said. “I also wanted thank this group of parents, they were amazing in every single way. This team wouldn’t have gone anywhere without their support all summer. This group of coaches worked really well together as well. We all talked about pretty much every decision and respected each other and did what we thought was best for these kids. It was truly and honor and the most fun I’ve ever had coaching a team before and it was because of everyone involved.”

Terrell said the sponsorships turned in by Whites Express, Miss Behavin Boutique, Taylor Grocery and Hunter’s Hollow were very helpful. 

Members of the team include: Gavin Lowery, Jake Melton, Karson Guest, Laine Burns, Jaden Morgan, Lawson Fortner, Elijah White, Caleb Robinson, Sam Lewis, Charlie White, Drew Saxton, Joshua Wilson, Jase Osborne and Cole Garvin. Fish Robinson, Slade Lewis and Craig Garvin assisted Terrell as coaches. 


 

Contact

Oxford Park Commission

310 South 15th St. 
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Email: johndavis@oxfordparkcommission.com
Phone: 662-232-2380

Contact Us

Oxford Park Commission

310 South 15th St. 
Oxford, Mississippi 38655

Email: johndavis@oxfordparkcommission.com
Phone: 662-232-2380

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