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Meridian wins state crown

By Staff
SAFE AT HOME n Meridian's Ryan Bennett is safe at home as he collides with Vicksburg catcher Dean Hill III, causing the ball to come loose. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Robby Atkinson/The Meridian Star
July 23, 2001
The Meridian 13 year old All-Stars secured a Babe Ruth State Championship by shutting out Vicksburg 9-0 to bring home the crown Sunday at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field.
"I am very proud of the kids and the effort they gave," Meridian head coach Larry Vick said. "We just played very good and got great pitching as well."
Meridian did get a outstanding performance from pitcher Corey Hart. Hart pitched a complete game with ten strikeouts and allowed only two hits in the seven innings of work for Meridian.
Meridian jumped on the board early with a pair of runs to open the game up. Drew Snider reached on a careless error by Vicksburg and later crossed the plate on an RBI single by Tyler McMullen for a 1-0 lead. Meridian continued the offense with a single by Tyler Vick that scored McMullen from third base to build the Meridian lead to 2-0.
Meridian never stopped scoring in the game as the All-Stars plated four more runs in the very next inning to make the score 6-0. Hart helped his cause with a leadoff single and was followed by a single from J. Stoddard to put a pair of runners on base. Ryan Bennett collected an RBI on a fielder's choice to score Hart from third base and Drew Snider delivered a huge single to score Stoddard to continue the big offensive inning for Meridian.
McMullen picked up an RBI in the same inning on a sacrifice fly to right field to score yet another run for Meridian. Nathan Peden also picked up a single and an RBI in the second inning for the Meridian All-Stars.
Meridian sealed the win with a big run in the third inning. Rodney Warren led the inning off with a single and scored on an RBI groundout by Hart.
Hart then silenced the Vicksburg hitters the rest of the game as Meridian celebrated a State Championship.
Meridian will now move on to the Regional Tournament in Del Rio, Texas in two weeks for a chance at a World Series berth.
* Vicksburg 8, Gulfport 6: Vicksburg earned a shot at Meridian in the championship with a win over Gulfport, which had previously defeated Vicksburg 22-8 on the first day of the tournament.
Vicksburg collected nine hits in the contest, while Gulfport had only five hits in the game.
Dan Ivey led the offense for Vicksburg with a pair of hits, including a double and single. Ivey also picked up the win in pitching a complete game for Vicksburg.
Brandon Hall also had two singles in the game and Frederick Denton added a single for Vicksburg.
Paul Roberts and Cary Scarborough paced Gulfport with a single and an RBI apiece.