GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Matt Lawton made his baseball dreams come true. The coast baseball prodigy spent 15 years in the major leagues. In 2000 and 2004, Lawton earned berths on American League all star teams.
Lawton left the game in 2006 having knocked out 138 home runs, and swiping 165 bases.
Seven years later, Lawton is back in Gulfport. And with the help of Servantes Harris, he's doing what he can to coach his son's Cal Ripken 12-year-old baseball team to similar success.
Lawton's Orange Grove all-stars just finished an undefeated season and are heading to the Cal Ripken 11/12 Southwest Regional in Springdale, Arkansas on July 18th.
According to a news release sent to WLOX Sports, the team is comprised of boys from around the gulf coast who have practiced hard and traveled far to complete their undefeated season. "After playing league ball all season, they came together as All Stars and stepped up their game to be undefeated in the state games. We are so proud of all they have accomplished and can't wait to watch them in Arkansas," Kathy Campbell wrote. Campbell is a proud grandparent and supporter of an Orange Grove all-star.
The team and their families will be heading to Arkansas on Thursday to play against teams from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Parents and grandparents are hoping the Orange Grove squad will win the Southwest Regional championship, and qualify for the national championship held in Maryland.