Districts 1, 6 meet for baseball gold
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
June 24, 2001
District One and District Six advanced to today's gold medal game of the 2001 State Games of Mississippi baseball tournament by going unscathed in their respective pools over the first three days of competition.
District One eliminated District Three 4-1 and District Six rallied for a 7-4 extra-inning win over District Eight in Saturday's action.
Earlier in the day, District Three sent District Four packing with a 2-0 loss and District Eight struck for five runs in the top of the seventh inning to eliminate District Five 9-4.
In today's action, District One and District Six play for the gold medal at 1 p.m. with one game settling the issue.
Districts Three and Eight both claimed bronze medals.
District Six 7, District Eight 4 (8 innings): Joseph McCaskill of Jackson Academy belted a three-run, pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the eighth to cap District Six's rally from a 4-0 deficit in the night contest.
District Eight took a 4-0 lead with four runs in the top of the second inning. Drew Robinson of Oak Grove had a two-run double in the frame.
Van Pope had an RBI-double for District Six in the third inning and Michael Wakefield had an RBI-single in the fourth to trim the deficit to 4-2.
Aaron George had a double in the sixth and Stephen Gostkowski added an RBI-single as District Six drew even at 4-4.
Carl Upton drew a walk and Wakefield also received a two-out walk prior to McCaskill's game-winning blast to left-center.
Kyle Bridges got the win with an inning of relief of Upton who allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings. Upton struck out six and walked one.
Brian Seymour took the loss in relief.
Gostkowski had two singles for District Six.
Robinson had a single, a double, and a triple for District Eight. Win Deavours and Richard Imhoff both had a pair of singles with Trey Cuevas adding a double.
Both teams had eight hits.
District One 4, District Three 1: District One advanced to the gold medal game as Clay Dozier of Itawamba AHS allowed only one run over the first six innings and Scottie Jacobs of Caledonia set District Three down in order in the seventh.
Dozier struck out six and did not issue a walk.
District One got its first run in the bottom of the second inning when Kevin Caldwell drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and scored on an error.
Bo Baxter of Tupelo launched a two-run homer to left field in the fourth to give District One a 3-0 lead. Jon Hardin followed with a double and scored on another of District Three's three errors.
District One finished with three hits and played errorless in the field.
District Three had four hits. Tony Evans led the way with a single and a double. He scored his team's only run when he hit a two-out double in the fifth inning and scored on a single by John Michael Cummings.
Cummings was the losing pitcher, allowing four runs and three hits in four innings.
District Three only left three runners on base.
District Eight 9, District Five 4: District Eight scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to eliminate District Five Saturday afternoon.
Drew Robinson of Oak Grove and Joey Burlison of East Central both had two-run singles for District Eight in the seventh while Jason Hockaday of D'Iberville added an RBI-single.
Justin Pigott of Picayune tossed six innings of three-hit relief to get the win. He struck out eight and walked three.
Robinson and Trey Cuevas both had a pair of singles for District Eight. Marc Maddox added a double among District Eight's seven hits.
Richie McAlister of West Lauderdale had a pair of singles for District Five, which had six hits.
Three District Five pitchers combined to issue 10 walks. Nathan Jack took the loss.
District Five left nine runners on base.
District Three 2, District Four 0: Mark Vance tossed a one-hitter for 6 1/3 innings and Matthew Rozier retired the final two batters in the top of the seventh to complete the shutout as District Three eliminated District Four in Saturday's early game.
Vance, a rising senior at Greenville Christian, retired 11 straight batters during the second through the sixth frames. He struck out three and walked two.
The only hit off Vance was a first-inning single by Stephen Pusha of Columbus.
District Three got one run in the bottom of the third. John Michael Cummings and Tony Evans opened the inning with singles with Cummings scoring on a fielder's choice by Brett Boykin.
District Three got its second run in the fourth inning. Vance had a one-out single with Wynn Diggs following with a two-out, run-scoring single.
District Four left four batters on base in the first two innings and stranded seven for the game.
Wes Turner of Neshoba Central took the loss despite allowing only two runs on five hits for five innings. He struck out two and did not issue a walk.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.