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PLAS duo shines

Justin Sims and Wes Johnson have grown accustomed to playing together this season.

The pitcher/catcher combination at Pike Liberal Arts School led the Patriots to the AISA Final Four as seniors. The tandem was rewarded Saturday with a

trip to the AISA All-Star Game on the campus of Huntington College.

Although the players could not be reached Monday for comment (one was playing baseball; the other was playing in the Gulf of Mexico), their high school coach expressed pride

"It was a big day for them," PLAS head coach Butch Austin said. "I know they were excited, and I was excited."

Sims started the game for the East squad, and he lasted four innings. He held the West scoreless during that time. After he was relieved, Sims went to first base and hit a home run.

Unfortunately for Sims, he was not able to collect the win. The West All-Stars came back and forced a 5-5 tie. All-Star Game ties are not limited to the Major Leagues.

For his efforts, Sims earned a share of the MVP honors. P.J. Walters of Faith Academy was named MVP for the Western team.

Johnson also had a good day for the East All-Stars. He reached base three times in the game. He garnered a hit and drew two walks.

Although Sims and Johnson graduated from Pike Liberal Arts School, they will still have a few more chances to play together.

They both were selected for the American Legion Post 12 baseball team in Dothan. Post 12 has won the past four state championships and came in third in the World Series last season.

Austin said the future also looks bright for the two players as well.

"They've been contacted by about four or five schools each," Austin said. "They should both sign with a college in the next couple of weeks, from what I understand."