Mid-County win away from Babe Ruth World Series

Published 6:34 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

While Mobile County, Ala., is the defending Babe Ruth World Series champion for 16- to 18-year-olds, Mid-County is the team to beat in the Southwest Regional.

“We’re putting it all together,” Mid-County coach Ben Rogers said. “Hitting, pitching, and the kids like each other.

Mid-County is 3-0 heading into Tuesday morning’s championship game against Mobile County, which beat Amarillo in the consolation final. The game starts at 9 a.m. in Dumas, located between the Oklahoma Panhandle and Amarillo.

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If Mobile County wins, a second game will immediately follow. The regional champion will advance to Ephrata, Washington, for the Babe Ruth World Series.

Mid-County beat Mobile County 8-3 early Monday to make the championship round behind a solid 6 2/3 innings on the mound by Connor Kemp of Nederland. Recent Port Neches-Groves graduate Brandon Morse threw 11 pitches to get the final two outs.

Morse, the 5A state tournament MVP, will start against Mobile County on Tuesday.

“It’s a different person every game that steps up and pitches or steps up and gets the big hit,” Rogers said.

But nobody’s hitting the ball better than Marcus Foreman of Nederland, who according to Rogers is holding a .600 average.

Mid-County has benefited from players with college experience (Devaun Anderson of Port Arthur, Kody Kolb of Nederland and Kyler Bumstead of Kountze) and players like Morse who are just coming off PNG’s state championship. Logan LeJeune and Jacob Vaughan, Morse’s classmates, have been with the club all summer, and Rogers has touted their composure during another title run.

“They’re just matter-of-fact,” Rogers said. “They’ve seen it. There’s no panic in them.”

Brandon Clark and Brock Fenn of Nederland and Bumstead have also had strong outings on the mound.

Mobile County has built a dynasty in the highest age group of the Babe Ruth League, winning seven World Series titles since 2000. The last three times Ephrata (2011, 2014 and 2016) hosted the tournament, Mobile won it all.

Mid-County would like to buck that trend.

“I feel like all of us has talent, but it all just comes down to who’s hitting the ball better,” Kemp said in a Facebook post.


Little League update

The Port Neches 10-year-old All-Stars bounced back from a 3-1 loss to Lamar (Richmond) with a win in the Little League East Texas state tournament at West University Little League South Campus in Houston. Port Neches was to play later Monday.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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