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West Point trio enjoys summer travel ball

July 18, 2014

By Will Nations

Three youth baseball players hit the diamond with their minds set on winning tournaments and improving their skill sets during summer months. 
West Point natives Manning Huffman, Gray Berry and Jonah Caskey played in 12 tournaments throughout the past three months with the Starkville-based travel team Swing Elite, a Triple-A affiliate of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). The West Point group began its summer season in Ridgeland and wrapped it up recently at the USSSA U-11 World Series in Gulf Shores, Ala. 
Last week, Elite Swing finished as the No. 16 team out of 41 teams at the USSSA World Series in Gulf Shores. The team qualified for the second-tier bracket, seeds No. 9-16, after winning three games in pool play. The team exited after two straight losses in the double-elimination bracket.
Despite falling short in the World Series, Huffman, who played catcher and outfielder, liked the travel ball experience. The sixth-grader at Oak Hill Academy said traveling added to the excitement of competing against various teams from other states.
“The teams from Mississippi and out of state were really good,” Huffman said. “I liked traveling, and I think we did pretty well against everybody we played.”
Huffman enjoyed a hot start to the weekend of games, going 7-of-11, at the plate, as the lead-off batter.

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