Meridian wins; advances to next round Thursday
HERE IT COMES – Meridian's Tyler McMullen concentrates as he prepares to deliver a pitch during his team's 6-1 win over Pittsburg on Tuesday. McMullen tossed a one-hitter as Meridian advanced to the next round of the Babe Ruth World Series with the win. Submited photo
By Jami Leabow / special to The Meridian Star
Aug. 21, 2002
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. Tyler McMullen knew he had to pitch the game of a lifetime Tuesday to save the Meridian All-Stars from elimination in the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series.
Did he ever.
McMullen came within one out of a no-hitter in dominating Pittsburg, Kan., and leading Meridian to a berth in the single-elimination championship round. Meridian (2-2) defeated winless Pittsburg, 6-1.
McMullen lost the no-hitter and the shutout with two outs in the seventh when Zach Timme singled to score Trent Kavanagh, who had walked and was balked to second.
The win puts Meridian at 2-2 in its division in pool play, and that will be good enough to advance to the championship round on Thursday.
In Meridian's division, Tri-Valley, Calif., is 3-0 entering today's game and will win the division. State College, Pa., also has wrapped up a berth. Clifton Park, N.Y., and Pittsburg have been mathematically eliminated.
The only mathematics manager Larry Vick needs to ponder for the moment are the numbers put up by McMullen on Tuesday: one hit and eight strikeouts.
McMullen came up huge for Meridian in a must-win game, overpowering Pittsburg. He had the help of a sterling defense, especially by third baseman Nathan Peden, who had seven assists on the day.
we had to come out and play our hardest. It's what we've worked for all year."
McMullen said the night before, after going 2-for-3 with a home run,
triple and three RBIs in a loss, that he didn't care about personal statistics, just wins. Tuesday, he said he was not disappointed to lose the no-hitter since his team won.
McMullen got all the runs he needed in the first inning, when Meridian combined a Tyler Vick single, a McMullen walk, a balk and a wild pitch to score two runs to take a quick 2-0 lead.
Meridian added a run in the third, thanks to two Pittsburg errors, and scored three more in the seventh combining singles by Vick and Kyle Wiggins and three hit batsmen.
Manager Larry Vick couldn't say enough about McMullen's pitching
just threw a super, super baseball game."
Meridian, done with its four pool-play games, has the day off today and
will travel to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., about 90 miles away.
Notes: Cordera Eason, removed from Tuesday's game after aggravating a back injury, said he will be ready to play Thursday In the other pool-play division, Hazel Dell Metro, Wash., has clinched the top seed and Mobile, Ala., will take the second seed. Fighting for the third and final berth in the championship round are Guilderland, N.Y., and Harris Township, Ind., who meet today. Leominster, Mass., has been eliminated.