East Mississippi reaches finals

By By Ryan Satcher/staff writer
July 16, 2004
PHILADELPHIA East Mississippi handed Hunter Graham a four-run lead in the first inning and that was all the determined hurler needed on Thursday night in the Dixie Youth 11-12-year-old District Four tournament in Philadelphia.
Graham went four and a third innings and allowed just four runs to help lift East Mississippi past Westside 5-2.
Graham and relief pitcher Ben Griffin struck out 14 batters to help move East Mississippi into the championship game against undefeated Philadelphia. The first game is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the if-necessary game to follow.
"He throws three pitches and he threw all three well tonight," said East Mississippi coach Barry Boatner of Graham. "He spotted his pitches very well tonight. Griffin will pitch any time and he pitched great. They had about 14 strikeouts between them which is just phenomenal for this age group."
East Mississippi jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Hunter Potate singled to start the game and later scored. Tyler Sellers walked and came around to give East Mississippi a 2-0 lead.
Gabe Lofton singled and later scored and Graham scored after walking. Jason Smith and Jonathan McMillan each had a single in the big inning and Christopher Carlisle ripped one of his two doubles in the four-run inning.
"That gave the kids a lot of confidence," said Boatner of the quick start. "We needed that because we have been struggling to hit the ball early."
Westside scored a run in the bottom of the first inning to cut into the lead.
Jerry Calloway singled and later scored on a single by Jakweon Cameron to make the score 4-1.
East Mississippi added a run in the top of the third inning.
Griffin walked and Potate reached on an error to get the inning started. After a groundout moved the runners over, Dillon Boatner grounded to third. The throw home was in time to get Griffin but the catcher didn't tag him thinking the force play was on.
A home run by Cameron cut the lead down to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning but Graham and Griffin proved to be too strong on the mound for East Mississippi.
The pair combined to strikeout seven of the final 11 hitters of the game to hold the lead for East Mississippi.

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