Local team plans to do better in State Games baseball
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
June 21, 2001
Just a few weeks ago, West Lauderdale claimed yet another Class 3A state baseball crown, while Meridian High made a run at the Class 5A championship.
Today, five of the players from those schools will join forces in hopes of winning a gold medal.
Three Wildcats and a pair of Knights head a list of six Lauderdale County players on the District Five baseball team that begins play today at 7 p.m. in the 10th annual State Games of Mississippi.
Meridian's Torry Bates, John Iverson and John Stevens, as well as West Lauderdale's Trent Posey and Richie McAlister and Northeast Lauderdale's Drew Anderson, will all suit up for the District Five team that includes nine representatives from The Meridian Star's coverage area.
"We had some awfully good ones from around here," Meridian High head coach Vince McLemore said of the June 16 tryout for District Five.
McLemore, who once again coordinated this year's area tryout, said he and District Five coaches Wayne Pittman of South Jones and Dan Purvis of Northeast Jones are confident the team can top last summer's performance in the eight-team, double-elimination event.
"We went 0-2 last year," McLemore said. "So we've got a little motivation to do better.
"I hope they'll be leading them to that gold medal."
In addition to the Lauderdale County throng, the District Five squad includes Wayne County's Daniel Roberts and Ty Lawson, as well as Union's Jody Blount and nine representatives from the Laurel/Jones County area.
There are also five players from The Meridian Star's coverage area which made the District Four squad, led by the Louisville trio of Brad Hill, Anthony Stanford and Gabe Snow.
Jacob Townsend and Wesley Turner of Neshoba Central are the other local reps on the District Four squad, which opened the Pool A bracket at 10 a.m. this morning against District Two.
High school players on schedule to graduate in 2002 and 2003 were eligible to try out for the State Games baseball competition at eight district locations around the state.
Those eight teams begin play today in a College World Series-format tournament at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field, with the gold medal game slated for Sunday.
In the other two opening round games slated for today, District 1 faced District 3 at 1 p.m., while District 6 and District 8 face off at 4 p.m.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.