The North Mississippi Elite made the trek to Panama City, Florida, this past week for the Grand Slam World Series and ended their season with a third place division finish.
Having already won the state championship in June, the team, which includes local players, were looking to add to their trophy case. The Elite opened up pool play against the 12U Five Star Columbus, Georgia. Excellent performances from Dawson Arriola and Collier Clark on the mound, coupled with clutch hitting, lifted the team to a 7-5 win.
In the second pool game, Elite played the defending champions, Bama Starz. Errors plagued the team, and they eventually fell, 8-4.
Going 1-1 in pool play seeded the Elite as a No. 5 seed. They opened up bracket play against the 11U Five Stars, winning 10-7 after trailing 7-2.
The semi-final matchup pitted the team against the No. 1 seed, Bama Starz 11U. The North Mississippi Elite fell behind 8-0, before battling back thanks to the big bats of Baylor Hinton, Ben Monaghan and Carson Shells.
In the end, it wasn’t enough, and the team fel 8-4, putting them in a losers bracket matchup against Rawlings Red 12U. Hagan Pearce pitched a gem in an elimination game, and the entire lineup produced. They held off elimination by a score of 12-1.
The next elimination game was against a familiar foe: Bama Starz 11U. The game was a pitchers’ duel until the fourth inning, when the Starz finally broke through. The North Mississippi Elite had runners on in five of the six innings but could only push one run across. The lack of clutch hitting cost them the game, dropping a 7-1 decision.
Although, the loss was a tough pill to swallow, the 12U North Mississippi Elite placed third in the 12U Division. This was the second consecutive year the team has placed third in that division.