Between game talk lifts Cats over Vicksburg

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
March 3, 2002
An early season revival meeting worked wonders for the Meridian High Wildcats here Saturday at John Moss Field.
Just minutes after dropping a tough, one-run, extra-inning decision to visiting Quitman, Meridian head coach Vince McLemore had an old-fashion, heart-to-heart talk with his team.
It did some good because the Wildcats came back took out their fury on visiting Vicksburg for a 8-2 thumping. Meridian improves to 7-4 with the win. Vicksburg, who whipped West Lauderdale in Collinsville before coming to John Moss, leaves with a 5-4 record.
Against Vicksburg, the Wildcats got consistency in all three phases, especially on offense scoring seven runs in their first two at bats.
Pitcher Torry Bates, who went the distance for the win, unleashed even more damage with his bat driving in four runs off three hits. The biggest blow was his three-run homer in the first inning.
In the Wildcat second, Lance Burnham reached on a lead-off walk and Ben Stone got on by a Gator error.
With two out, John Stevens singled to left scoring Burnham for a 4-1 lead. John Iverson followed with a two-run triple that got by Dandy Dozen center-fielder J.J. Brown of Vicksburg. The rap scored courtesy runner Greg Harris and Stevens for a 6-1 lead. Iverson came around to make it 7-1 when the throw from the outfield sailed into the Meridian dugout.
Bates and his Wildcat infield kept the Gators from getting back in the game over the next three innings. Burnham helped start a 5-4-3 double play in the third.
Shortstop Richmond Alexander made two solid plays in the fourth while Burnham had two good stops and throws in the fifth. Stone threw out a Gator base-runner trying to swipe second to end the fifth.
Vicksburg finally got back on the board when Corey Hudson and David Staff roped consecutive doubles. Boo Hardy got the RBI on a hit to right.
Bates, though, helped his cause by catching Stagg off third base for a key out. A ground ball to Maurice Cole at second ended the inning.
Meridian got the run back when Bates drove in his fourth run on a sharp single to left plating Stevens to make it 8-2.
The 2-3-4 hitters for the Wildcats combined to go 7-for-8 with seven RBIs. Iverson was 2-for-2 with two runs. Stevens was also 2-for-2 with two runs.
Stagg led Vicksburg with two hits.
Bates allowed two runs off six hits. He walked four and struck out one. John Hendricks took the loss for Vicksburg.
Quitman 4
Meridian 3
Matthew Creighton's solo home run gave the visiting Quitman Panthers a 4-3 win over Meridian in eight innings in Saturday's first game at John Moss Field.
Quitman moves to 6-2 with the win. Meridian fell to 6-4.
The Panthers grabbed a 2-0 lead on a two-run shot by Dustin Hamrick in the second inning.
It was 3-0 when Meridian finally got on the board with two runs in the third. One came in on a wild pitch while the other came home on a sac-fly by Randy McMillan.
The Wildcats got the tying run in the bottom of the seventh on another wild pitch.
Creighton got the win in relief of starter Jonathan Russell. John Iverson took the loss for the Wildcats.

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