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Meridian 14s take two

By By Jared Florreich/staff writer
July 12, 2003
Day one in the 2003 Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old All-Star State Baseball Tournament at Q.V. Sykes Park saw a little bit of everything.
History was made in the first game played between Meridian and Olive Branch.
Meridian's Anthony Taylor pitched a no-hitter, recording nine strikeouts, as the home team defeated Olive Branch 10-0. The game was called after five innings due to the run rule.
Meridian got two runs in the first inning, supplying all the offensive support Taylor would need. Bo Stanley broke the game open in the fifth, rocking a two-RBI double that helped propel Meridian into the winner's bracket nightcap.
New Albany 1
Stone County 0
New Albany's Cole Wilkerson and Stone's Matt Kirkland hooked up in a pitcher's duel, with New Albany picking up the game's only run.
The game, which included a 40-minute rain delay, was a stalemate until the fifth, when New Albany's Kyle Kimbrough scored on a passed ball to produce the game's only run, giving New Albany a 1-0 win.
A total of 20 runners were stranded on base, 11 for New Albany and nine for Stone County.
Kirkland threw a complete game to take the tough loss. He pitched seven innings, allowing four hits while recording four strikeouts. Wilkerson got the shutout win, allowing two hits while fanning five in seven innings of work.
Meridian 2
Long Beach 1
A two-hour rain delay delayed the start of the nightcap ballgame between Meridian and Long Beach.
The rain, heavy at times, drenched the fields at Q.V. Sykes, but the grounds crew did a remarkable job of getting the fields ready for play.
Tournament co-chairman Rob Bullock said he was pleased with the field conditions.
The game was a nail biter throughout.
In the third, two walks put Meridian in position to take the lead. Taylor knocked both runners home with a single which gave Meridian a 2-0 lead.
Long Beach closed the game to one run in the fifth, when Long Beach's Pat Gaddy hit an RBI single that scored pitcher T.J. Powell.
In the seventh, with Meridian clinging to a 2-1 lead, Long Beach's T.J. Powell smashed a one-out double to left field.
But Meridian pitcher Walton Mitts retired the final two outs, and Meridian advanced in the winner's bracket, winning 2-1. Mitts recorded six strikeouts and held Long Beach to one run to pick up the victory.
Meridian head coach Randy Diveley said his team's pitching was the deciding factor in both games.
Diveley said the field, though extremely wet, isn't causing any problems.
Meridian will take on New Albany today at 1 p.m. in a winner's bracket game. Long Beach will face the loser of the Stone County-Olive Branch game at 10 a.m. today.
The loser of the Meridian-New Albany game will face the winner of the Stone County/Olive Branch-Long Beach game at 7 p.m. in the nightcap.
The Stone County/Olive Branch nightcap Friday was not completed before deadline.

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