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A record number of scouts and college coaches attended the 2014 MS RBI showcase.

A record number of scouts and college coaches attended the 2014 MS RBI showcase.

View Photos from this event
View photos from last year’s event

When: Saturday, Jan. 11th 2014
Where: Jackson State University’s Bob Braddy Field
Who: High school baseball players age 15-18 only
Time: Registration at 8am, event begins at 9am, should be complete around noon
Cost: $20 per player ($35 limit if 2 brothers or more from one family)

You cannot pre-register for this event. Email Brian@MississippiRBI.com if interested in attending.  As in the past events, Major League Baseball scouts and numerous college coaches will be in attendance.

Better late than never, this story of the most successful team in Mississippi RBI history, is finally being written. By no fault but my own, it’s time to reward these 15 young men, who deserve to have their story told. So, here we go.

First, some back story. This team is the most successful because they were the first to win the RBI Regional tournament. The Warriors defeated Arlington RBI 2-1 in the regional championship and dogpiled on the mound of Rangers Stadium. The 2012 Warriors came within a run of accomplishing the feat in a 2-1 loss to Houston RBI in the regional’s final game. The 2011 and 2010 Warriors also lost to Houston RBI in the Regional championship game, both played in Little Rock, Ark. By winning a championship, this 2013 team did something that no other RBI team from Mississippi had ever done.

2013 RBI Regional Champions

2013 RBI Regional Champions

From the moment we stepped off the plane in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the players knew this was the big-time.  A camera crew from MLB.com followed their every move and we were driven to a huge hotel to set up shop for the 5-day event. We were one of two teams in the tournament that had never been there.  Every other team had at least one world series trip in the history.  MLB.com interviewed two of our players the first night we arrived for a story on that very subject.  “We Belong” became our team motto throughout the tournament.  Despite the fact that they had never been this far, both from home and in the RBI tournament, they had earned their way there and they would soon get to show why on the field.

The Texas Rangers graciously donated the team uniforms for our team

The Texas Rangers graciously donated the team uniforms for our team

The team opened up with three pool play games that mean nothing, only seeding in the quarterfinals of the world series, against Chicago White Sox RBI, Venice RBI (Calif.) and the Dominican Republic.  Mississippi RBI also let every one in the tournament know that we planned to have fun during our games. “Gospel rallies” and continuous noise came from our dugout.   Even other teams joined us when their coaches turned their backs.  On the way to our game the Dominicans recorded a “Harlem Shake” video with our team.

Sam Campbell hit a grand slam to centerfield vs the D.R.

Sam Campbell, now at Jackson State University, hit a grand slam to CF vs the D.R. in a pool play game.

Finally, it was time to play the first game that mattered. We were paired against Detroit RBI, a near-20 year old RBI program.  They were throwing their best pitcher and we sent our top dog out to the mound. Undersized, but a true Bulldog, Yazoo City sophomore Darrius Wright pitched a complete game (4 hits all 1B’s and 6 k’s) shutout and his shortstop, also a soph., Lakon Wilson, smacked a RBI single in the top of the 7th to give the Warriors the lead.  We won 1-0. So many great plays from the infielders and a gutty performance behind the plate from Sam Campbell.

Diminutive Darrius Wright was the talk of the tournament after shutting out vaunted Detroit RBI

Diminutive Darrius Wright was the talk of the tournament after shutting out vaunted Detroit RBI.

Immediately after winning against Detroit the Warriors had to face Tampa RBI later the same day.  Sophomore DeMarcus Evans toed the rubber for the Warriors and pitched well until an experienced Tampa team took advantage of errors and blew open a very close game.  Tampa would return to the RBI World Series championship game for the second straight year.

These 15 players made history for Mississippi RBI: Sam and Gabriel Campbell, Darrius Wright, Desi Scott, Tre Hobbs, Kendrick Walk, Jarred Scott, Lakon Wilson, Billy Man-Man Cameron, CJ Newsome, Donte Peters, Tamaz Conerly, Kaelyn Young, Kedryn “Peter Rabbit” Wright and DeMarcus Evans.

Detroit_MinnRumors say the videos from MLB.com would be posted after the MLB World Series that ended last month.  The players were shown an incredible video of the entire event during the RBI World Series championship game, but it has not been posted as of today.

Mississippi RBI started as a short summer league and clinics in 2009 at Battlefield Park and other rundown baseball fields around Jackson and now we’re winning regional tournaments and gaining corporate sponsors.  I’m amazed at how God lets himself be glorified in what we’re doing. This ministry exists to provide opportunities to players that would not normally exist for them. We’ve done this for four years thanks to our sponsors like Wal-Mart, BankPlus, Community Bank, Bob Boyte Honda and many other private and anonymous donors. To find out how to give visit our donors page.

Walmart_Logoff Community Bank BankPlusphoto-images-TrustmarkLogo1

After reaching the RBI Regional championship game four straight years the RBI Warriors won their first championship game earning them a trip to the 2013 RBI World Series.  While each league in the eight regional tournaments must raise money to attend the champions receive an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of Major League Baseball to the RBI World Series host city.

2013 RBI Regional Champions

2013 RBI Regional Champions

Saturday morning 15 all-star players from the Mississippi RBI summer league will board a plane (only 3 have flown before) and head to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the RBI World Series hosted by the Minnesota Twins.  Those players are Sam Campbell, Gabriel Campbell, Darrius Wright and Desi Scott from Yazoo City, Tamaz Conerly, CJ Newsome and Donte Peters from Columbia, Kendrick Walk and Jarred Scott from Meridian, Kaelyn Young and Kedryn “Peter Rabbit” Wright from Callaway HS, Tre Hobbs from Greenville, DeMarcus Evans from Petal, Lakon Wilson from Oak Grove and Billy “Man-Man” Cameron from Mendenhall.

2013 Team Photo

There are so many story lines to this team. Sam Campbell played on the RBI National team in Cary , NC last summer.  That sent his confidence through the roof.  A late-bloomer on the field anyway, Campbell helped Yazoo City HS win it’s first district championship in 40 years.   He also had two game-winning hits against Neshoba Central HS, the preseason district favorites, and one time top 5 team in the state of Mississippi.  Campbell signed with Jackson State University.

Meridian grad and Jackson State University signee Kendrick Walk earned the RBI for RBI Scholarship in 2013.  He will get to apply $20,000 towards tuition at JSU courtesy of Major League Baseball. Since baseball players don’t receive full scholarships this was a game-changer for Walk.

Assistant coach LaDerik Williams is a defacto big brother to fellow Callaway HS players Kedryn “Peter Rabbit” Wright and Kaelyn Young.  The unrelated trio is so close they spend nearly every day with each other and spend much of the time at the batting cages. This is the first championship they have ever won.  Here’s their story from WAPT and WJTV.

Read about the Cameron brothers and how special this trip is going to be for them.

Ending the regional tournament with a dog pile on the pitcher’s mound in  the Texas Rangers Stadium was incredible enough and now the RBI Warriors will get the opportunity to the same thing in Target Field live on the MLB Network at 6pm Thursday.  If we make it, you HAVE to watch!!

A key member of the 2011 RBI Warriors, Sanchez Cameron, is already giving back to the program by serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2013.  That’s not all that makes this story special.  The Mendenhall native is also coaching his younger brother Billy “Man-Man” Cameron, a middle infielder for the 2013 RBI Warriors.

Cameron is passing down what he learned as a member of the team that reached the 2011 RBI Regional championship game in Little Rock, Ark to the 2013 RBI World Series bound Warriors. Cameron is currently a catcher for Mississippi Valley State University.

Sanchez Cameron in 2011 (Photo by Ed Gardner)

Sanchez Cameron (Photo by Ed Gardner)

“It’s an honor not only for me to coach for the team I once put on a jersey for, but to coach my baby brother,” Sanchez said.  “It makes me proud to see that he is able to follow in my footsteps.”

The younger Cameron went to Little Rock in 2011 and cheered on his older brother from the stands in Dickey-Stephens Stadium, a Double-A ballpark currently occupied by Arkansas Travelers of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s organization.

Man-Man Cameron (Photo by Ed Gardner)

Man-Man Cameron (Photo by Ed Gardner)

“Being coached my brother is kinda cool,” said the rising senior at Mendenhall High School. “He can help me during the games because he has been there and done that.  I even picked the same number he wore, but I think it looks better on me,” the younger Cameron said.

For now the younger brother has the upperhand.

“It’s great playing with Mississippi RBI and this is one of the best teams and best group of guys I have ever been a part of.  Of course, it feels better to know I went farther than Sanchez did in this uniform.”

Yazoo City HS junior Darrius Wright stared in for the sign from his high school teammate Sam Campbell in the Texas Rangers ballpark Sunday and then threw the pitch that would end any hope of Arlington RBI winning the 2013 RBI Regional tournament.  The Mississippi RBI players rushed Wright and dogpiled on top of him celebrating the Warriors first RBI regional championship, a 2-1 win.

Mississippi has been competing in the RBI Regional tournament for four consecutive years. They have reached the final game fours times and won only once. The 15 players are selected from the MS RBI summer league played around the state of Mississippi each May-June.

Mississippi RBI players dogpile in Rangers Ballpark

Mississippi RBI players dogpile near the pitching mound in the Ballpark at Arlington (Texas Rangers) after the final out of the RBI Southwest Regional Championship game. (Photo by Ed Gardner)

Mississippi RBI had previously reached the RBI Regional championship game in 2010, 2011 and 2012 losing to Houston RBI each time. The Warriors defeted Houston, Austin and Arlington RBI in the tournament.  Major League Baseball will now send the team to Minnesota for the RBI World Series August 3-9.  The all-expenses paid trip only shows MLB’s commitment to their worldwide RBI program.  There are over 300 RBI programs around the world and eight regional tournaments held each July.  The winners from those eight regional’s attend the RBI World Series.

2013 RBI Southwest Regional Tournament Champions. (photo by Ed Gardner)

2013 RBI Southwest Regional Tournament Champions. (photo by Ed Gardner)

The Warriors began the tournament with a 10-0 win over Austin RBI in a 5-inning shortened game. Six-foot-four 250 lb righthander DeMarcus Evans (Petal HS) threw a no-hitter and allowed only two baserunners.  Evans hit the first two Austin batters of the game and one other reached base on an error.  The Warriors got one homerun each from CJ Newsome, Donte Peters and Tamaz Conerly, all from Columbia HS.

Meridian HS righty and Jackson State University signee Kendrick Walk got the start against Houston RBI later in the day Friday. Allowing only three runs to the Astros RBI team, Walk was removed because of leg cramps while running the bases in the bottom of 5th inning.  The Warriors had taken a 4-3 lead in the inning thanks to Walk’s base hit.  Wright, the Yazoo City HS ace, took the mound and held off the Astros to take the Warriors to 2-0 on the day.  Wright threw nine scoreless innings in the tournament.

The championship game was played at 7:30 a.m. Sunday because of a Rangers game later that day. Wright scattered five hits and threw a seven-inning complete game with seven strikeouts and one walk.  The Warriors scored a run in the bottom of the 5th inning and one run in the 6th inning. Arlington did plate a run after a leadoff triple in the 7th inning.

More details on the RBI World Series will be posted as they become available this week.

The highlight of the summer for the Sr. boys division in the Mississippi RBI summer league is the annual RBI Regional tournament.  The team of 15 players has been selected by members of the RBI program and we will announce them one-at-a-time over the next two weeks as we prepare to leave for Arlington, TX on July 18.

A first-class event hosted by Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers, the regional tourney will be held at local fields and the regional championship game will be held in the Texas Rangers stadium.  If they are lucky enough to win the regional then the team will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the RBI World Series.  The championship game, if they are lucky enough to make it, will be played in the home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field.

RHP’s Kendrick Walk and DeMarcus Evans

Kendrick Walk and DeMarcus Evans (photo on left  by Bob Smith, photo on right by Ed Gardner)

Kendrick Walk and DeMarcus Evans (photo on left by Bob Smith, photo on right by Ed Gardner)

Kendrick Walk is making his second trip to Arlington for the 2013 RBI Regional tournament. He was a catcher and pitcher for the RBI Warriors in 2012. Walk is a Jackson State University baseball signee and one of 12 winners of the 2013 RBI for RBI Scholarship presented by Major League Baseball.

Walk, 6-0 150, can play all over the diamond and is his leadership will be a valuable asset.  A Meridian HS graduate Walk is a 3-year participant in the Mississippi RBI summer league.

DeMarcus Evans is a 6-4 235 lb hard-throwing righthander from Petal HS.  A rising junior Evans has been overpowering his competition all summer.  Also a football player Evans is a throwback player that will only get better with maturity and experience.

“Kendrick is such an important player for our team,” said Brian Emory, RBI Coach.  “He plays with relentless effort and can do almost anything on the baseball field.  He has played every position in the infield for us over the past two years.”

“DeMarcus knew several players already in our summer league and fit right in from the start,” Emory said.  “He’s been fun to watch and I can’t wait to see him on the mound in Arlington.”

The highlight of the summer for the Sr. boys division in the Mississippi RBI summer league is the annual RBI Regional tournament.  The team of 15 players has been selected by members of the RBI program and we will announce them one-at-a-time over the next two weeks as we prepare to leave for Arlington, TX on July 18.

A first-class event hosted by Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers, the regional tourney will be held at local fields and the regional championship game will be held in the Texas Rangers stadium.  If they are lucky enough to win the regional then the team will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the RBI World Series.  The championship game, if they are lucky enough to make it, will be played in the home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field.

INF’s Lakon Wilson and Billy “Man-Man” Cameron

Infielders Lakon Wilson and Man-Man Cameron

Infielders Lakon Wilson and Billy Cameron (photos by Bob Smith)

Lakon Wilson is a rising junior at Oak Grove HS.  Blocked by uppperclassmen last season Wilson is awaiting his chance to make an impact on his high school team.  Errorless this summer Wilson is expected to play shortstop in the RBI Regional for the Warriors. Steady at the plate the 6-0 155 lb Wilson has shown flashes of developing power and a natural lift in his swing.

An infielder and rising junior at Mendenhall HS, Billy “Man-Man” Cameron, is expected to play 2nd base for much of the regional. A throwback player Cameron is tough and hard-nosed around the bag and is not afraid to lay a hard tag on would-be-basestealers. That mentality runs in the family as his older brother Sanchez, a Mississippi RBI alum, fit the same mold.  He is now a catcher at Mississippi Valley State University.

“Strength in the middle of the defense is so important and these two players give us that,” said Brian Emory, RBI coach.  “Lakon has ton of range and short and Man-Man does the little things that impress coaches and win ballgames.”

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