Local youngsters play at Hall of Fame

Published 5:43 pm Friday, July 6, 2012

THE SOUTHERN LONGHORNS get together after finishing eighth in a 104-team field at the 12-year-old tournament at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Shown are: front row, left to right, Nick Sherrer, Tripp Gable, Griffin Long, Dalton Messick and Nathan Kelley; back row, left to right, Nathan Lloyd, Justin Kelley, Jason Shirley, Emerson Hancock, B.R. Roberson and Chase Miles.

The 12-year-old Southern Longhorns baseball team based in Lynn Haven, Fla., and featuring a couple of local players, posted a 7-1 record and finished eighth overall in a 104-team field during a June 8 through June 16 tournament field at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Griffin Long, the son of Bainbridge city councilman Phil Long, and Emerson Hancock, the son of former Bainbridge High and Cairo High football coach Don Hancock, of Cairo, represented Southwest Georgia on the team.

Long was a catcher and right-handed pitcher and Hancock was a second baseman and right-handed pitcher.

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Team Florida, who went undefeated and captured the championship, handed the Southern Longhorns their only defeat. They downed them 11-2.

Phil Long said the tournament was great for his son and the rest of the young men.

“All of the young men played well and had a great time,” Long said. “The Hall of Fame people were great to us.”

Teams from various parts of the United States were represented in the tournament field. In addition to Georgia and Florida, there were teams from Illinois, Texas, Ohio and North Carolina.