Boatner sinks Westside
By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
July 19, 2003
PHILADELPHIA East Mississippi pitcher Dillon Boatner made sure the final day of the Dixie Youth District Four Major League Tournament for 11-12-years-olds would be crowded.
The young hurler willed his team into the championship round shutting down the Westside offense in a 3-1 win Friday night at Northside Park to force a three-way playoff for the district title today.
Boatner allowed just three hits and struck out nine batters en route to a complete-game victory.
The game was the second contest in a row that East Mississippi and Westside squared off in the tourney.
Westside defeated East Mississippi 11-6 on Thursday, scoring 10 runs in the first two innings.
Two games will be needed today to crown a winner in the tournament.
Philadelphia, which reached the championship round Thursday with a 3-0 win over West Lauderdale, will face cross-town rival Westside in the first game at 6 p.m.
The winner will take on East Mississippi in the championship game at 7:30 p.m.
East Mississippi got a bye in the championship round because it won the coin flip following Friday night's victory. All three teams have only one loss in the five-team, double-elimination tournament.
East Mississippi started its play-in game with a run in the opening inning.
With two outs in the top of the first, Jonathan McMillan hit an infield single allowing Kevin Roberts to score from third for a 1-0 advantage.
The single run appeared to be all Boatner would need in the game.
The East Mississippi hurler set the first six batters he faced down in order, striking out two, before giving up three hits in the third inning.
Westside scored its lone run in the game on its third straight hit to lead off the third.
John Wesley drove in Michael Finley with hit up the middle of the infield to tie the score at 1-1, with no outs.
East Mississippi was able to escape the inning without any further damage pulling a double play, after giving up a run, and Boatner struck out Terrance Hill to end the inning, with a runner on second.
East Mississippi retook the lead in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Chris Lowery for a 2-1 lead, and Westside walked in another run in the fifth to produce the final score.
Gabe Lofton notched a double for East Mississippi, and Boatner, McMillan, Lowrey, Chris Winklebreach and Tyler Hughes each had singles in the win.
Finley, Wesley and Mandries Huddleston each singled for Westside.