Meridian wins 13-7 over Cougars

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
Feb. 28, 2002
DECATUR – On a day better suited for ice fishing than baseball, the Meridian Wildcats took advantage of seven Newton County errors to beat the Cougars 13-7 Tuesday afternoon.
Meridian, 6-2, struck for seven runs, five of which were unearned, in the top of the first inning and never trailed. Newton County finished the contest with seven errors. Meridian also had a dozen hits, six of which were for extra bases.
Richmond Alexander opened the game with a single for Meridian. John Stevens reached on an error and Pierre Henderson walked to load the bases. After a sacrifice fly by Ricky McMillian made it 1-0, John Iverson followed with an RBI-double. Lance Burnham reached on an error that plated two runs. Bates and Tyler Maxwell had back-to-back doubles with Alexander adding an RBI-triple for an early 7-0 lead.
Newton County got two runs back in the bottom of the first. Losing pitcher Brandon Ezell and Josh Avant led off with singles. The first run scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch with the second crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly by Robby Carey.
Meridian picked up another unearned run in the top of the second as the Cougars committed two more errors.
The Cougars cut it to 8-5 with three runs in the bottom of the second. Colby Amis drew a one-out walk and Ezell followed with a two-out single. Both scored when Avant's single got past Iverson in center field for a three-base error that saw Avant circle the bases.
The Cats took a 10-5 lead with two runs in the top of the fourth. McMillian led off with a walk with Iverson and Burnham following with singles. Burnham's hit scored McMillian. Iverson came home on a fielder's choice by Bates.
The Cougars temporarily cut the Meridian lead to 10-7 in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out double to the wall in right-center by Matthew Boggan. However, Boggan was called out for missing first base, taking both runs off the scoreboard.
Iverson scored his third run of the game in the sixth as he doubled to center field and came home on a throwing error by Ezell, who was the cutoff man at shortstop.
The Cougars rallied to within 11-7 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ezell doubled home the first run and later scored on a single by Mylan Anderson.
Meridian added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Alexander was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Stevens. A throwing error trying to gun down Stevens at third base made it 13-7.
Iverson went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a single for Meridian. Alexander had a single and a triple, Maxwell added a single and a double, and Henderson had two singles.
Ezell went 3-for-4 with two singles and a double for Newton County. Avant had a pair of singles as the top two batters accounted for five of Newton County's seven hits.
Bates tossed the first six innings to get the win.
Meridian returns to action Friday at Neshoba Central. Newton County also resumes play Friday at West Lauderdale.

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