Teams overcome raindrops
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
June 22, 2001
Rain plagued the opening day of the State Games of Mississippi baseball tournament. Two afternoon rain delays totaling just over three hours slowed action in the eight-team tournament at Meridian Community College.
In the first three contests, District Four defeated District Two 5-2, District One hammered District Three 10-1, and District Six knocked off District Eight 6-3.
District Four 5, District Two 2: Daniel Stevens of Ackerman tossed 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief to get the win for District Four in the day's opener. The lefty struck out four and did not issue a walk.
"He did a good job of coming in and throwing strikes," District Four coach Brian Jones of Neshoba Central said of the rising junior. "I think he was a little nervous to begin with, but once he got his groove he was okay."
Scott Norwood of Eupora came off the bench to hit a pair of doubles for District Four. Stephen Pusha also came off the bench to hit a run-scoring triple and a sacrifice fly.
"Pusha hit the ball well and Norwood did too," Jones said. "They came in and did a good job. They got confident up there at the plate. Norwood came down here last year and played. He was used to it and he stepped in and did an excellent job for us."
Locally for District Four, catcher Jacob Townsend of Neshoba Central had a pair of walks in two plate appearances, while shortstop Wes Turner of Neshoba Central went 1-for-4 with a single. Anthony Stanford of Louisville went 1-for-4 with a single, while Gabe Snow of Louisville drew a walk in his only plate appearance.
Scott Crawford had a single and a double for District Two, while Blake Skelton had a pair of singles.
Chris Beckham took the loss.
District Four scored twice in the top of the fifth to erase a 2-1 deficit. Norwood led off with a double and scored when Pusha tripled in the right-field corner. Pusha scored on a sacrifice fly by Lance Martin.
District Four added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth. Eric Marshall singled and Brad Beckwith drew a one-out walk. Norwood doubled home one run with the second scoring on a sacrifice fly by Pusha.
Both teams had seven hits.
District One 10, District Three 1: A thunderstorm two batters into the 1 p.m. contest caused a two-hour, 10-minute delay.
When play resumed, District One took a 3-1 lead with three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning before the contest was delayed again for 65 minutes by rain.
Josh Johnson had an RBI-single in the first inning for District One.
Bo Baxter and Brandon McGarity both had two-run singles in the fifth as District One expanded its lead to 8-1.
Kenard Springer led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer for District One. Clay Dozier added a sacrifice fly.
Bryan Williamson tossed four innings of one-hit relief to get the win. He struck out five and walked two.
Springer went 3-for-4 for District One. Kevin Caldwell added a pair of singles. The winners had 11 hits.
District Three got a double apiece from Brett Boykin and Mark Vance. The losers managed just three hits and committed five errors.
Tony Evans took the loss.
Trailing 3-2, Joseph McCaskill and Dillon Sudduth opened the fifth with singles and Johns followed with a towering homer to right field.
Both teams scored twice in the first inning before District Eight took a 3-2 lead in the second on a sacrifice fly by Jason Hockaday.
McCaskill went 2-for-2 with a double for District Six. Stephen Head had a double among District Six's seven hits.
District Eight had five hits, all of which were singles.
Stephen Gostkowski got the win, tossing five innings of three-hit ball.
Bryan Seymour took the loss.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.