Selma Pre-Majors, Majors teams start tourney play Friday

Published 8:59 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coach James Roberts and the Selma Dixie Pre-Majors All-Stars get their first look at critical action Friday when they play their first games of the South State tournament in Thomasville.

Roberts said his squad takes on host Thomasville. “I know that will be a tough game,” he said.

What makes the game more difficult is the Selma Pre-Majors squad advanced to the tournament without having to play.

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“I kinda wished we wouldn’t have gotten the bye,” Roberts said. “I wished we had played important games before the tournament.”

The Pre-Majors All-Stars had scrimmage games Tuesday night against the Selma 14-year-olds and Demopolis, with another scrimmage last week against the Majors All-Stars. The situation, however, is different.

“It’s hard to get the same kind of intensity in a scrimmage,” Roberts said. “You’ll put a pitcher out there for one or two innings to look at them. In a tournament, you may have to ask them to go a longer distance.”

Roberts said he is confident in his team’s play.

“I think we’ve got four or five quality pitchers, and we’ve got a lot of speed on the bases,” he said. “As long as our bats come around, we should be OK.”

Both the Selma Pre-Majors and Majors teams will play at 4 p.m. Friday at different venues. The Pre-Majors team plays at Earl Tucker Field, which is on Gates Drive across from Thomasville High School. The Majors squad plays its games at the high school.

Murray Austin’s Majors All-Stars go up against the Westside All-Stars from Mobile on Friday. Then they take on host Thomasville at 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by defending world champions Auburn at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Westside All-Stars will be strong, Austin said.

“The Mobile team has several junior college players that will make them a tough opponent,” he said. “Thomasville has always had good hitters. Enterprise would probably be the favorite to make it into the state tournament.”

Austin said the edge may come down to desire.

“The bottom line is: whoever wants this tournament bad enough has a chance to take it all,” he said.