Foster keys win for South

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 28, 2006

PEARL &8212; Unlike several players at the MPSA All-Star festivities Saturday at Trustmark Park in Pearl, he&8217;s still got a world of baseball ahead of him.

But he sure picked a good way to go out on a high school career.

The Adams Christian standout played his final high school game at the Class AA-AAA All-Star Game and came away with the South Most Valuable Player Award for the game as the South took a 4-2 win over the North.

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Foster, who will play next season at Southern Miss, got the start on the mound and went five innings and went 4-for-4 at the plate with two singles, a double and a triple.

&8220;I didn&8217;t think it was going to happen, but I started playing and thinking I had a chance at it,&8221; Foster said. &8220;It was 96 degrees out there. It was burning up. There were some good players there. The first inning we started off kind of slow.&8221;

Foster allowed only three hits through five and allowed one run and walked two. The score was tied at 1-1 when he left the mound in favor of Copiah Academy pitcher Brock Campbell, who gave up a run in the sixth.

Brookhaven Academy pitcher Paul Davis came in to pitch in the seventh, and the South rallied for three in the top of the seventh to win the game.

&8220;My changeup was working pretty good,&8221; Foster said. &8220;My curve, it was better than it had been in the past. I just tried to hit my spots. You can expect them to get hits. They were hitting it hard, but sometimes they&8217;d hit it right to somebody. It didn&8217;t bother me. We made the plays.&8221;

In the seventh with Davis on the mound, Foster went to shortstop when a North batter hit a grounder to Brookhaven Academy&8217;s Ryan Vanderslice at second, who flipped to Foster as part of a double play.

Davis got the next batter to line out to Foster to end it.

Foster drove in the final run of the game with a single, hit a triple to leadoff the fifth and drove in the third.

Class A All-Star game

Huntington right-hander Huston Eliser got the start on the mound with teammate Ples Arthur behind the plate, but the bats were the story in this one. The South jumped on the North pitching in the first three innings en route to a 13-3 win in the first game of the All-Star doubleheader.

The South pounded out 17 hits in the seven-inning contest. Eliser and WCCA&8217;s Blake Fontenot and T-Ray Deville scored runs for the South.

&8220;We were hitting the ball well today,&8221; said WCCA head coach Ray Olive, South head coach. &8220;The ball was finding the hole on hard ground-ball shots. We were swinging level and making contact, and we were aggressively running the bases. We didn&8217;t steal much but stretched it out and tried to make them make plays. We just kept the pressure on them.&8221;

The South picked up two runs in the first three innings to lead 6-2 after Eliser yielded two runs &8212; one earned &8212; in the first. Brandon Ates of Sylva Bay singled in a run in the first and doubled in two in the third on his way to being named South MVP.

Ates also made a diving catch in left center to end the inning with a runner on second.

Eliser went two innings and faced 11 batters while allowing two hits and striking out two. Olive said it was an easy choice to go with the Huntington duo to start as battery mates, and Arthur stayed on in the third to catch Glenbrook&8217;s Andy Pendergrass.

&8220;I liked the combination of pitcher and catcher there,&8221; Olive said. &8220;Really and truly, Ples and Huston have pitched and caught big games for the last two years. I couldn&8217;t see going any other way. I knew before going up there. Huston did a great pitching around two errors.&8221;

Eliser later came in the game as a courtesy runner after flying out twice earlier in the game. He scored a run in the fourth off a passed ball.

Fontenot struck out but reached first on a passed ball in the second. He went to second on an errant pick-off throw, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an Ates double. Deville walked twice and scored in the sixth on a single from Heidelberg&8217;s Justin Gibbs.

Arthur walked twice in his two plate appearances.