Mississippi College

Mississippi College Joins Batter Up for Stewpot Team

May 21, 2009

Batter Up for Stewpot, the charity softball game on June 4 between the Media Giants and Barbour's Bombers will see Mississippi College pitch in for the cause at Trustmark Park. The annual game begins at 5 p.m. followed by the Mississippi Braves-West Tennessee contest at 7:05 p.m.

MC Choctaws head baseball coach Brian Owens takes on post-season duties as the manager for the Media Giants, a loose collection of "ballplayers" from newspapers, radio and TV stations and former media people.

Owens comes aboard fresh from winning American Southwest Conference Coach of the Year honors. The Choctaws were one pitch away from winning the ASC championship in 2009 at Frierson Field in Clinton. Completing his 4th season as MC's head coach, Owens is a former baseball player at Mississippi State and Hinds Community College. Owens will be joined by MC graduate assistant Jake Bell, former state player of the year at Pearl High and later a standout for MC.

Brad Rogers, the Republican nominee for Pearl mayor, will toss the ceremonial first pitch in his hometown. Last year, Gregg Harper, an MC graduate and 3rd District congressman, handled the role in a Mississippi Braves uniform at the home of the 2008 Southern League champions.

Last year, Governor Haley Barbour's team ripped the Media Giants by a 14 to 5 score at Trustmark Park. It gave the Bombers a 3-1 edge in the series known as Homerun for Habitat for the first three years. "The mighty Bombers knocked us out of the park in late August 2008," said Andy Kanengiser, the event organizer and MC's news coordinator. "But it proved to be a sweet victory for Stewpot with $23,000 donated to provide meals to needy families in downtown Jackson."

Despite this year's shaky USA economy, there's been $17,000 collected so far from heavyweight sponsors and scores of other Stewpot fans, said Kanengiser, a Media Giants player. The goal is to get close to last year's total, he said. "Donations of at least $40,000 in two years will go a long way at Stewpot."

Major sponsors this year include Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi, AT&T, BankPlus, and the Jackson law firm of Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes.

Schools like Mississippi College, the University of Mississippi, Belhaven College, the University of Southern Mississippi, Millsaps, Hinds Community College and Jones County Junior College are donating baseball jerseys, hats and other items to a game-time raffle to boost Stewpot coffers.

Restaurants like Logan's Roadhouse, Broad Street Baking Co., Chick-Fil-A and Applebees have contributed gift certificates. The Clinton Public Schools tossed in a nice collection of T-shirts. Others gifts are from Mississippi Blood Services, the MC School of Law, Mississippi Nurses Association and Providence Hill Farm to name a few.

Located in a former church on West Capitol Street, Stewpot serves 400 to 500 meals daily. Stewport Executive Director Frank Spencer says their needs have climbed by ten percent due the the nation's bad economy.

The Governor's team of staffers, ex-staffers and members of his family have a connection to the Stewpot team. In the early 1960s, Spencer and Barbour played on the same baseball team at Yazoo City High. The Media Giants squad includes WAPT-16 news anchor Scott Simmons, Mississippi radio newsman Randy Bell, and staffers from The Clarion-Ledger.

Stewpot fans going to the doubleheader that Thursday are encouraged to bring cans of food. The game will offer opportunities for baseball fans to become Stewpot volunteers. This will be the 5th year for the softball game at Trustmark Park. Governor Barbour led his team to a 5-2 victory in Game One when he spanked a double and slid into second base in a cloud of dust.

For more information on the game, contact Andy Kanengiser at 601.918.4443 or kanengis@mc.edu or Stewpot development director Susan Frazier at 601.353.2759.

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