Meridian goes 1-for-2 in Coke Classic
Feb. 18, 2001
By Richard Dark
The Meridian Star
The annual Meridian High School Coca Cola Diamond Classic got under way after Friday's rainout with a seven-game slate that took place at both John Moss Field and at Northeast Lauderdale High School.
The field boasted five area teams, including last year's Class 3A South State runnerup in Newton County and the 2000 Division 5-2A champ Enterprise Bulldogs. Rounding out the field was Alabama Class 6A power Tuscaloosa Central. Each contest was a seven-inning, time-limited affair, with the tourney champion decided on a point system.
Tuscaloosa Central 5, Meridian 0: The Falcons bested the Cats in the nightcap, as hurler Rob Burns baffled Meridian all night long. Burns set down 14 of the 21 batters he faced, as the Falcons (2-0) took the tournament title. Burns gave up only three hits and the Cats stranded four men.
Torry Bates took the loss for the Cats (1-1), despite striking out seven and giving up just one run and two hits through the first six innings he saw. The Falcons' other victory came courtesy of a 9-3 decision over Enterprise.
Meridian 10, Newton County 2: Vince McLemore's club, ranked 14th in one statewide preseason poll, spanked the Cougars with a big five-hit, seven run-fourth.
After the Cougars took a 2-0 lead, the Wildcats came to bat and scored their first run off an error. They then put together two straight doubles.
Sanduan Dubose went 2-for-3 with a double. He also scored twice and had a pair of RBIs. Senior second baseman Kris Barnett also had a 2-for-3 day with two runs scored and a stolen base.
Defensively, pitcher John Hays Compton set the tone with nine strikeouts in five innings of work.
Northeast Lauderdale 10, Choctaw County 7: Will Matlock recorded his first victory of the season, while Tiger pitcher Matt Neal took the loss. Trojan Drew Anderson pounded out three hits, including a double. Will Gardner also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Northeast Lauderdale 9, Enterprise 5: The Trojans took their second contest of the day, as Anderson recorded his first pitching victory of the year, helping his cause with a pair of hits and two RBIs.
Other multiple hitters for NEL were Gardner with three hits, including a two-bagger, and Matlock with two. Kyle Stoddard added one for the Trojans, who take on West Lauderdale Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Choctaw County 1, Newton County 0: The Tigers edged the Cougars as Jumar Dubose grabbed the win with a nifty pitching performance. Dubose (1-0) struck out four, while giving up just three hits and walking two. Robby Carey had a pair of hits for the Tigers and teammate Matthew Thead added another.
All Tournament team: Meridian's Bates, Dubose, Compton; Enterprise's Justin Gunn; Newton County's Carey and Mike Holiday; Choctaw County's Dubose and Matthew Thead were named to the all-tourney team. Three representatives from Northeast Lauderdale were not available at press time.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar .com.