Meridian 14's battled to the end
By By Rob Sigler/The Meridian Star
July 24, 2001
The three-peat just wasn't in the offering for the Meridian 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars in Sunday's championship game in Jackson.
Injuries, the lack of offense and an outstanding North Jackson squad was too much to overcome for a return trip to the regional tournament in Bay City, Texas.
"We played a real good tournament," said Coach George Warner. "We just ran in to a real good team in Jackson. We didn't mess up and give it to them. We played two real good games against them (13-11 and 4-2 losses). The last game we just didn't get any offense."
In that title game, their second contest of the day, Meridian was without lead-off hitter and shortstop Randy Diveley, who injured his leg in the 6-1 win over Vicksburg earlier in the day. Kedric Martin also twisted an ankle in the first loss to Jackson. Both players were unable to continue in the tourney.
That didn't deter the team from battling for their third trip to the regionals, needing to beat Jackson twice for the crown.
After Dominic Spinks tossed seven outstanding innings against Vicksburg, Cory Chance took to the mound for the second time in the tournament and did another outstanding job, but the Meridian bats managed just five hits against Jackson.
"Cory did another superb job pitching," said Warner. "He was really on his game and pitched well in both games."
After Jackson took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, Meridian answered in the bottom of the fourth when Justin Scott had the first of his two hits and tied the game, scoring from third base on a passed ball.
Jackson, however took the lead for good in the fifth frame with a pair of runs. Meridian got one of the runs back in the sixth. Fernando Atterberry walked, stole second and went to third on a sacrifice. He too scored on a passed ball.
Jackson added an insurance run in the seventh.
Cody Warner was another Meridian bright spot, smacking a double and single, but it wasn't enough.
"It was a heartbreaker to end the season this way," said Coach Warner.
Rob Sigler is sports editor at the Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com or call 693-1551 ext. 3235.