This fall, many Union County baseball players will take the field in the Cotton States Fall League, but one is coming off of a successful summer participating in the 16th annual Junior Sunbelt Classic.
Played annually in McAlester, OK, the tournament features some of the best rising seniors from eight states and Canada in the week-long event.
New Albany’s Ben Foster was one of 20 players selected to represent team Mississippi. Also making the trip was Bulldogs head coach John Walker.
“It was a pretty big honor since there were only 20 from the state taken, and it helped a lot having Coach Walker out there as well,” Foster said. “It was fun, and I had a good time.”
Team Mississippi opened the tournament against Tennessee, which featured several potential first and second round major league draft picks. Foster admitted having nerves in that game, but afterward, settled down and was one of the top hitters on the team.
“We played Tennessee starting out, and there were definitely some top draft picks out there, so I was a little nervous out there. Once we got past that first game, I settled in and had fun,” he said.
Hitting around .500, Foster ended the tournament selected to the All-Tournament team. Twenty players total were selected, and Foster was one of three from Mississippi to make the team.
“He had a pretty good tournament. If he didn’t lead us in hitting, he was second, and we had three that made the All-Tournament team, and he was one of them,” Walker said. “ It’s a high honor, because you have teams out there that have multiple high-draft picks on their team. Team Tennessee probably had three or four that will be first or second round major league draft picks, so it’s legitimate competition, and he performed very well out there.”
Foster and several of his New Albany teammates are working on their game this fall in the Cotton States Fall League, and Foster will compete for the next month with the Tenn-Tom Thunder.