Meridian High takes part in Dizzy Dean World Series

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
July 9, 2004
Meridian High School's boys of summer have hit the road.
The Wildcats are in West Point this week as one of 36 teams competing in the Dizzy Dean High School World Series. Schools from as far away as Atlanta and Texas are entered, as are teams from across Mississippi.
"Usually I just let kids play summer league ball," said Meridian head coach Vince McLemore. "But with the youth on this team, this summer I kept them together. And since Mississippi is hosting the Dizzy Dean World Series, we decided to compete in that."
The tournament opened on Thursday with the first of two days of round-robin pool play. Meridian lost 2-1 to Itawamba High School in its World Series opener on Thursday, then bounced back for a 20-3 win over Cleveland High School. Cordera Eason homered in both games, and Tyler McMullen collected four strikeouts in two innings pitched against Cleveland.
Today, the Wildcats open against Oak Hill Academy before taking on Itawamba in a rematch.
All three teams in Meridian's pool are squads that the Wildcats typically would not play. Cleveland and Itawamba are too far away to schedule, McLemore said, and Oak Hill is an independent school.
"It's good to get away from your circle of regular teams and play some different strong teams," McLemore said. "Itawamba made the 4A playoffs, and Cleveland was a strong 3A team. It's good to see different opponents who are strong opponents."
Facing those opponents not only keeps skills sharp, McLemore said, but also helps teams develop chemistry months during the long offseason months.
"Team chemistry is so crucial in high school sports," McLemore said. "There's no better way to build chemistry than by facing strong competition, and that's what we wish to accomplish here."

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