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Meridian Ripken All-Stars headed to regional events

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
July 30, 2003
Two more Meridian youth baseball teams will be packing their bats, gloves and uniforms to take part in regional tournaments at the end of the week.
On the heals of the Meridian 13-year-old and 14-year-old teams competing in the Babe Ruth Regional Baseball Tournaments in Arkansas, the 11-year-old and 12-year-old Meridian All-Star squads will leave the nest of the Queen City to take part in the Cal Ripken Regional Baseball Tournaments.
The 11-year-old All-Stars will travel to Eagle Pass, Texas, to play in their age group's regional tourney against teams from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The 12-year-old All-Stars will make their way to Fort Smith, Ark., to play in their age group's regional tourney against teams from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
It is the second straight trip to a regional tourney for the 11-year-old squad, which played in the 10-year-old tournament in Lake Village, Ark., last year.
The team finished in third place last year, and Sterling said the players have a chance to finish on top this time around.
The 11-year-old All-Stars didn't know who their first-game opponent would be last Tuesday, but the coach said he expects to see some familiar faces in the bracket from last year's 10-year-old regional.
The 12-year-old squad knows its first-game opponent will be the representatives from Louisiana.
Meridian will take the field at 1 p.m. Friday in its first game in the regional in Arkansas.
The 12-year-old All Stars field a team with plenty of experience when it comes to playing in tournaments that bring together squads from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
There will be one difference for the squad in this year's regional.
The 12-year-old All-Stars will be staying with host families in Arkansas at the 2003 regional tournament.
On the field, the 12-year-olds are solid on the mound, defense and in the batter's box.
Hannah said the team has been working hard in the days leading up to the tournament to bolster their offensive bunch a little more for the regional.
A solid roster from 1-13 could bring this team all the way to Aberdeen, Md., the site of the 12-year-old Cal Ripken World Series.