Cats blank Knights
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
March 23, 2002
COLLINSVILLE The cold air did little to stop the hot-throwing ways of Meridian's Jason Spinks.
Spinks tossed a three-hitter in blanking defending Class 3A champion West Lauderdale here at the Knights' Field on Friday night. The win lifts the Wildcats to 15-5 on the season and avenges a 4-3 loss to the rival Knights back on March 9 at John Moss Field.
Meridian head coach Vince McLemore was elated to see the complete-game effort. The Wildcats played flawless defense behind Spinks and got the timely hits against a tough West Lauderdale pitcher in Bo Davis.
Spinks said he was ready for another good outing.
West Lauderdale, now 11-5, had only one base runner through four innings. They didn't get their first hit until a Davis single to lead off the fifth.
By the time they got multiple base runners in the sixth, off two Spinks walks, Meridian was enjoying its 5-0 lead. A big catch and laser throw by Randy McMillian in right stopped West' s best chance to get on the board. McMillian's throw helped nabbed Dave Woods who was tagging up from second. Meridian's Tyler Maxwell applied the tag off McMillian's assist for the third out.
Meridian grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Richmond Alexander was hit by a pitch and then took second on a wild pitch. He was bunted over to third by John Iverson.
Torry Bates was then hit by a pitch. Courtesy runner Greg Harris then stole second. West tried a play with a fake throw to second to get Alexander off third. Instead, the throw went into left and Alexander scored easily on the error.
It stayed 1-0 until the Meridian fifth. A second West error put Maxwell on. He went to second on a single by Alexander. After John Stevens reached on a fielder's choice that erased Alexander, Iverson walked to load the bases.
Bates battled back from a 1-2 count to draw a 3-2 pitch. He turned on it for a bases-clearing double that got over the head of the center fielder to make it 4-0.
In the sixth, Maurice Cole slugged a solo home run on a 1-2 pitch. The blast made it 5-0.
West Lauderdale coach Jerry Boatner says his team is struggling with a young line-up. The Knights lost their starting catcher in Miles Joyner on Monday night to a broken arm.
Spinks gave up two singles in the seventh to account for West's only other hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
Davis went seven innings, scattering five hits. He struck out six including two big ones that ended the third inning with Wildcats sitting on second and third base.
Alexander had two hits while Bates drove in three, all off his double to pace the Wildcats.
Meridian returns home to face Columbus at noon. They will then host Louisville at 6. West Lauderdale has two road games traveling to Clarkdale for afternoon date and then facing Northeast Lauderdale at 6 p.m.