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West Lauderdale takes pitchers'
duel victory in tourney opener

By Staff
Philadelphia Westside first baseman Jeremy Morga runs to first base after making contact against East Mississippi on Tuesday. East Mississippi won opening game of the Dixie Youth Minor League District Tournament being played at Center Hill by the score of 10-4. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
July 9, 2003
West Lauderdale may not have gotten the run-support it wanted on Tuesday night in the Dixie Youth Minor League District Tournament at Center Hill ball field, but the squad's pitching more than made up for the lack of hitting.
Gary Thomas, Dustin James and Smokey Ethridge combined to shut down Philadelphia National in a 2-1 West Lauderdale victory in the tournament for 9-10-year-olds. They combined to strike out 13 batters in six innings of work.
"We've got a lot of pitching depth and they had it tonight," said West Lauderdale coach Dane Ethridge. "We've got to put the bat on the ball better, though. We are going to have to score a lot more runs than that."
In other action on Tuesday night, East Mississippi beat Philadelphia Westside 10-4.
Tonight, West Lauderdale will take on Philadelphia American at 6 p.m. and Westside will take on Philadelphia National in a losers' bracket game scheduled for 7:30 p.m. East Mississippi will take on the winner of the 6 p.m. game on Thursday night.
Thomas and Philadelphia National's Kammeron Thomas started the game with strong efforts on the mound.
Kammeron Thomas sat down West Lauderdale in order in his two innings of work while West Lauderdale's Gary Thomas didn't allow a hit and struck out three batters in his two innings.
West Lauderdale finally broke the tie with a run in the third inning. Trey McPherson started the inning with a double and moved to third on a throwing error. He later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 1-0.
West Lauderdale added another run in the fourth inning. Alex Bell reached on a fielder's choice after Matt Skipper walked to start the inning.
After a wild pitch, Scott Nabors singled to bring in the run and make the score 2-0.
Dekarion Wells got on base for Philadelphia National in the fourth inning after his grounder was misplayed by the pitcher. The throw to first also went wild to allow Wells to move to third base.
Joel Whitney followed with a perfect bunt down the third base line and a throwing error on the play allowed Wells to score to cut the lead to 2-1.
Lee Smith kept Philadelphia National within one run with very strong pitching in the final two innings, but Ethridge was equally good and struck out four batters in two innings to secure the 2-1 win for West Lauderdale.
East Mississippi 10
Westside 4
East Mississippi used two big innings to put away Westside 10-4 in the early game in the tournament.
The squad scored four runs in the third and added three runs in the fourth inning to secure the victory.
Ben Griffin brought in a run for East Mississippi on a fielder's choice in the first inning to make the score 1-0.
Westside answered with a run in the top of the second inning. Jeremy Morgan scored on a wild throw from the outfield to tie the game.
East Mississippi came back with two runs in the second as Richie Miska singled in a run and Baly Hopson also scored in the inning to make the score 3-1.
East Mississippi broke the game open with four runs in the third inning. Tyler Sanderford walked and later scored on a double steal and Luke Birchett also walked and scored.
Tyler Lott walked and scored on a single by Jason Yarbor. Yarbor later scored on a throwing error.
East Mississippi added three runs in the fourth inning. Hunter Graham singled in a run and Miska brought in a run with a ground out. Hunter Cumberland scored on a double steal.
Westside scored two runs in the fifth on a single by Chris Lyon but could not come back as East Mississippi held on for the 10-4 win.