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Meridian falls in semifinals

By By Jami Leabow/special to The Star
August 24, 2002
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. Meridian Manager Larry Vick had a simple game plan coming into Friday night's semifinals at the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series.
He wanted his Meridian All-Stars to play good defense, to make Hazel Dell Metro, Wash., work for every run it scored.
It didn't quite work out that way.
Hazel Dell Metro eliminated Meridian Friday from the World Series, 5-2, capitalizing on four Meridian errors to earn the right to play in today's championship game.
Hazel Dell Metro will meet Tri-Valley in today's championship game at 10 a.m.
Neither team posted outstanding offensive numbers; both managed just three hits. But Hazel Dell Metro, champions of the 2001 Babe Ruth 13-year-old World Series, made them count.
Hazel Dell Metro scored quickly, going up 1-0 in the first inning when Jackson Evans reached on an error, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly. Hazel Dell Metro added another in the second when Steve Ames got on base on an error, Derekk Leichner reached on another error and a sharp Jacob Orosco single scored a run to make it 2-0.
Meridian finally scored in the fourth when Tyler McMullen the hottest hitter in the tournament the past few games got to first on an error. He stole a base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout.
Hazel Dell Metro quickly scored again, adding two in the bottom of the fourth inning on no hits, a walk and an error. Down 4-1 with three innings to play, Meridian managed just another run in the sixth, and Hazel Dell Metro's Greg Peavey struck out the side in the seventh to end the game.
Meridian's Tyler McMullen, who came within one out of a no-hitter Tuesday against Pittsburg, Kan., threw just 69 pitches and kept a powerful Hazel Dell Metro team in check most of the night.
But in the end, it wasn't enough. Meridian ends the tournament 3-3 and exits in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, losing to Utah as 13-year-olds.
Despite Meridian's elimination, Snider said he was proud of the team's accomplishments.
The Meridian team is expected to return to Meridian on Sunday.
Fans are encouraged to come and greet the Babe Ruth All-Stars at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field at 2 p.m. on Sunday.