Thursday, June 22, 2006
Hardaway, DeBerry perform well for Eagles
By BARRY BURLESON
Two former Byhalia Indians contributed greatly to the success of Dyersburg State Community College on the baseball diamond.
Freshmen Courtney Hardaway and Corey DeBerry helped the Eagles finish with a 37-17 record in 2006, including third place overall in the region.
Hardaway was an everyday starter. The first baseman hit .372 with 11 home runs and 62 runs batted in.
“He was in the cleanup spot and came up with big hits all year,” said head coach Robert White. “He was not streaky at the plate; he sustained it (the strong hitting) all year long.”
One of Hardaway’s most memorable hits, White said, was a double off the outfield wall to beat Walters State, which went on to win the national tournament.
“We beat them two out of three in the conference and then they beat us twice in the (region) tournament,” he said. “They eliminated us in the tournament (8-6 and 10-5); we were eliminated by the best.”
DeBerry, who played left field some and was also a designated hitter, hit. 346.
“We look for him to be a huge part of our lineup next year,” Coach White said.
He first saw Hardaway and DeBerry during the summer months of their high school years, playing for the Memphis Tigers.
“Both were available,” he said, “and I just liked them from the first time I saw them.”
He said the two visited the campus in Dyersburg, Tenn., and liked it and made the decision to play for the Eagles.
“They’re two great kids,” Coach White said. “They have fun playing the game, and when they’re around the other kids, they help make it a great team atmosphere.
“Both fit in perfectly here.”
He said both have adapted well to Dyersburg State’s style of baseball.
“Hopefully, they will continue to improve,” White said.
“Courtney had a great year, but he can’t get satisfied, and I don’t think he will. He knows he can do better.
“Both, after their sophomore years, will have options to choose where they want to go to school next.”
Hardaway and DeBerry played for coach Bubba Brown at Byhalia High School. The pair helped lead the Indians to the Class 3A state semi-finals during their senior season, a record year for BHS.
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