Sideline View with Dale McKee
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -
One of the most stunning upsets in sports history took place this past Saturday. Rich Strike came roaring back to win the Kentucky Derby in a photo finish. The odds were stacked against Rich Strike of winning the historic race. The 80-1 odds of him winning were as rare as a whale swallowing Jonah and him surviving. Really now, what are the odds of a horse winning his first race ever? What about a jockey and horse trainer winning the Derby in their first attempt? Rich Strike wasn’t even in the field 24 hours before the 148th running of this year’s race. Rich Strike also faced the impossible task of starting in the farthest outside lane in the 20th post. He is just the second horse ever after starting from that spot to win the Derby. Epicenter, the favorite, placed second in the race.
Five teams are vying for the final two spots in the SEC baseball tournament to be played in two weeks in Hoover, Alabama. Ole Miss (10-14), Alabama (10-14), South Carolina (10-14), Mississippi State (9-15) and Kentucky (9-15) are in a heated battle for those 11th and 12th seeds. The Mississippi State Bulldogs were swept at home by Florida the past weekend. The Bulldogs (25-23, 9-15) are now in last place in the SEC West. This weekend the Bullies will try to rebound at Texas A&M. Ole Miss won their first SEC home series of the year by sweeping Missouri to climb into sixth place in the West. This week the Rebels (27-19, 10-14) travel to USM on Wednesday and then head to LSU. Southern Mississippi lost two of three against visiting Old Dominion this past weekend. The Golden Eagles (36-12, 18-6) are still leading the C-USA standing by two games over second place UT-San Antonio, who will be visiting Hattiesburg this weekend.
William Carey (37-15) won their second straight Southern States Athletic Conference tournament and earned the automatic bid to the NAIA Regionals that will begin on May 16. Top seeded Delta State (32-14) was 2-1 in their opening three games in the Gulf South Tournament. DSU was scheduled to play UA-Huntsville on Monday. Belhaven (28-16) lost in the conference bracket championship to UT-Dallas.
Pearl River Community College will host the Region 23 baseball tournament this week. East Mississippi, Hinds, Jones and Northwest won their playoff series last week to join PRC in the six-team tournament. LSU-Eunice will also be in the field.
Co-Lin won the state softball tournament championship over Jones, 4-3, on Saturday. Co-Lin will host the Region 23 tournament beginning Wednesday, as Itawamba, Jones, Northeast, Northwest and LSU-Eunice will join the Lady Wolves.
Mississippi State’s softball standout Mia Davidson was a “Wonder Women” as she became the first player to hit 90 career home runs in SEC history. The previous SEC record was 71 by Florida’s Lauren Haeger.
Mississippi State seeded 11th and Ole Miss at 8 will begin play on Wednesday in the SEC Softball Tournament in Gainesville, Florida. State will take on LSU in the day’s opening game while Ole Miss will end the day against Georgia.
Belhaven (38-6) won the American Southwest Conference softball tournament this past weekend and will now advance to their second straight NCAA Division 3 Tournament later this month.
The Mississippi Braves centerfielder Michael Harris II is Atlanta’s top prospect and he is showing out on the field. Harris has reached base in 27 straight games entering the week, the longest streak in Double A baseball, and has a hit streak of 14 games.
The Atlanta Braves are touring Mississippi this week showing off their World Series Trophy at various stops. This week the trophy will be at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on Wednesday.
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