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Meridian falls to New Hope 10-9

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
March 1, 2001
In a game neither team seemed to want to win, the New Hope Trojans finally took the lead for good in the top of the ninth inning on a solo home run blast by Lance Martin en route to a 10-9 victory over the Meridian Wildcats at John Moss Field.
The nearly 41/2 hour affair was marked by shaky pitching on both sides, but Vince McLemore's charges had a pair of chances to win it in the seventh.
With the score knotted at 9-9 and one out, shortstop Tyler Singleton stepped to the plate and ripped a big double to deep center.
Tyler Maxwell, who had already made it to second on a single and stolen base, raced home in an effort to end it, but was gunned down at the plate on a picture perfect throw from center fielder Justin Faulkner.
One groundout later, the small crowd in attendance on the cold night, had extra baseball on their hands.
The Trojans (7-0) showed just that after the scoreless first inning of the contest by chasing MHS starter John Hays Compton and first reliever Michael Beard, while running out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning.
But the bottom of that frame was where the Wildcats (3-4) would do some damage, plating a whopping six runs on just two hits.
The Trojans didn't help themselves at all at that point, committing a trio of errors, including a three-base gaffe allowing the Cats to clear the bases on a Torry Bates' single with one away.
With that, MHS took the 8-5 lead and sent Stacy Hester's top two Trojan pitchers to the showers.
One way the Trojans were able to continue their comeback was by the pitching of shortstop Lee Boyd, who came on in the sixth and got the final two outs in what looked like it would be a big at-bat for the hosts. But the Cats took a 9-8 lead in the sixth when Richmond Alexander crossed home plate and was ruled safe by the umpire, despite an apparent tag by the Trojan catcher.
New Hope rightfielder Brad Price tied it at nine in the top of the seventh to force another at-bat for the home team.
Price, facing two outs and a full count sent the Torry Bates offering into deep center for the RBI two-bagger that sent Boyd home.
In all, both teams went through nine pitchers, with Maxwell taking the loss by giving up the dinger in the seventh. Boyd went the 31/3 innings to pick up the victory.
New Hope stranded 11 runners, while MHS left nine. The Cats pounded out 12 hits and committed four errors, to New Hope's 11 hits and four errors.
Wildcat hurlers struck out eight while the Trojans only set down four.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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