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May 20, 2014

Grady All-Stars end season in fine form

MINCO —

The county's best in baseball got one last chance to take the field before school ends for the summer with the All-Star game in Minco on Monday.

All-Conference players and an All-Star selection were divided into Grady County All-Star Blue and All-Star White teams. Team Blue, coached by Ninnekah's Tom Hurst, came out on top 11-2. 

The teams were tied after the top of the second, with conference Player of the Year Hunter Morgan, from Verden, on the mound for White and Union City ace Joshua McMinn starting for Blue. 

From there, Team Blue took over to storm to victory on a windy afternoon. Although winning was certainly a goal -- Hurst jokingly referred to his unbeaten record in five years of All-Star games -- the afternoon was more about a celebration of a successful year passed for the high school players.

"It's a lot of fun," Josh McMinn, from Union City, said. "You get to come out here and play with the guys you were against in the Grady County Tournament. School's almost out, things are kind of light, so it's cool to get to come out here and play."

Before the game got underway, the All-Stars had a chance to ride the gusting wind blowing into left field with the Home Run Derby. Of 11 competitors that started the first round, just five made it into the second.

Alex Whitlow from Verden and Ethan James from Amber-Pocasset set the pace early with a home run each, but Ninnekah's Nolan Miller crushed two over the fence to take the lead. Momentum soon went back to the Panthers when Ben Parr hit three home runs, and that was matched by Union City's Joshua McMinn.

McMinn kept things going in the second round, hitting another three home runs to take the crown. Parr finished second with four overall, while Miller and Whitlow tied for third with two each.

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