Robesonian

Coach and Machine Pitch athletes showcase their skills

LUMBERTON — Holder McAlpin launched six home runs in the first round of the Dixie Youth AA World Series home run derby and never looked back Friday afternoon at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex en route to claiming the Coach Pitch title.

The 8-year-old from Mississippi was the sixth Coach Pitch competitor to step up to the plate, with the previous five coming away empty-handed. McAlpin made up for the lack of fireworks in the first at-bats.

“It was awesome, especially when I hit my very first one,” McAlpin said. “That was my very first one.”

He was one of four competitors on the Coach Pitch side to send multiple long balls over the fence on Field No. 3 as a part of the skills competition held before Saturday’s start of pool play for the AA World Series. Also included in the event was the around the horn relay and the baserunning competition.

McAlpin capped off the festivities with two home runs in the second round to advance and take on North Carolina’s Bryson Summey for the championship. The pair both hit a pair of homers in the finals, with the total number of home runs hit, 10, giving McAlpin the crown.

After being recognized during the opening ceremony later on Friday in front of a packed Alton Brooks Stadium, McAlpin said he thinks he has a few more homers in him to help Mississippi in the Coach Pitch tournament.

“We’re wanting to win the championship,” he said.

In the Machine Pitch home run derby, Texas’ Davion King hit a pair of home runs to outlast Lumberton’s Dalton Tyner in the championship.

The around the horn relay allowed the infielders to flash their catching and throwing abilities tossing the ball from the pitcher; to the catcher; to the second baseman; to the first baseman; to the third baseman; to the shortstop; back to the catcher and finishing back at the pitcher.

The Tennessee Coach Pitch and Florida Machine pitch took those titles with nearly identical scores. Tennessee went around the horn in 14.04 seconds and Florida finished in 14.06 seconds.

Tennessee swept the baserunning competitions. In that event, players were timed running from second base to home plate with each team’s time a combined total from the four players from each team.

Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Mississippi’s Holder McAlpin swings on a pitch during the home run derby. McAlpin hit 10 home runs out during the competition, which was the third event of the skills competition at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DIXIE5_ne2018727225446744.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Mississippi’s Holder McAlpin swings on a pitch during the home run derby. McAlpin hit 10 home runs out during the competition, which was the third event of the skills competition at the Ray Pennington Athletic Complex.
David Bradley | The Robesonian Holder McAlpin from the Mississippi Coach Pitch team bumps fists with Lumberton Youth Baseball Association President Tim Locklear before receiving his medal at the opening ceremony on Friday night at Lumberton High School.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_dixie-mississippi-reduce_ne201872721482602.jpgDavid Bradley | The Robesonian Holder McAlpin from the Mississippi Coach Pitch team bumps fists with Lumberton Youth Baseball Association President Tim Locklear before receiving his medal at the opening ceremony on Friday night at Lumberton High School.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Arkansas Machine Pitch’s Deandre Shockley readies to make the turn around third base in the baserunning event during the skills competition on Friday.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DIXIE1_ne2018727225432612.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Arkansas Machine Pitch’s Deandre Shockley readies to make the turn around third base in the baserunning event during the skills competition on Friday.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Jackson Patterson, of Florida’s Machine Pitch team, touches third base in the baserunning contest.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DIXIE2_ne2018727225436624.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Jackson Patterson, of Florida’s Machine Pitch team, touches third base in the baserunning contest.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian Two competitors for Tennessee’s Coach Pitch around the horn relay team stand on in the pitcher’s circle. Tennessee won the Coach Pitch portion of the event.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DIXIE4_ne2018727225443622.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian Two competitors for Tennessee’s Coach Pitch around the horn relay team stand on in the pitcher’s circle. Tennessee won the Coach Pitch portion of the event.
Brandon Tester | The Robesonian In the Machine Pitch home run derby, Grady Cherrington-Dunton from South Carolina sends a pitch off his bat.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_DIXIE-HR_ne2018727225916412.jpgBrandon Tester | The Robesonian In the Machine Pitch home run derby, Grady Cherrington-Dunton from South Carolina sends a pitch off his bat.
Hitting, catching and running exhibited at skills competition

By Jonathan Bym

Sports editor

Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at jbym@robesonian.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.