Cats cruise past Union
UP IN THE AIR n Meridian's Kris Barnett beats the tag of Union's Jody Blount as he steals second base Thursday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
March 30, 2001
UNION Meridian High's baseball team was hoping for some quality relief innings out of sophomore Tyler Maxwell this season.
But if the right-hander continues to show such command of his pitches, there's no doubt he'll fulfill his potential as a top-notch starter.
Maxwell tossed a complete game and struck out six batters here Thursday afternoon to lead the Wildcats to a 12-1 win over homestanding Union in a makeup date of an earlier game postponed by rain.
Coming into Thursday afternoon's contest, Maxwell had walked just three hitters and fanned 24 in 21 innings of work. He did nothing to hurt those numbers, walking only one Union batter and carrying a shutout into the sixth inning.
Meridian, which improved to 14-7 with the victory, looked as if it might blow the game open early.
The Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the first inning, then used a pair of walks and an error to spark a five-run second inning that made it 7-0.
Meridian got another run in the third inning and chased Union starter Wes Henry a freshman who fell to 1-2 with the loss.
In came another Union youngster Brooks Vance. The sophomore fanned the first two hitters he faced and shut down MHS in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to keep the Yellow Jackets alive.
McLemore echoed those thoughts.
Union got its only run in the bottom of the sixth when Justin Darby connected on a towering, solo home run over the center-field fence to make it 8-1.
Meridian finally got to Vance in the top of the seventh, touching him for four runs including an RBI double by Richmond Alexander and run-scoring hits from John Stevens and Sanduan Dubose.
Dubose had three hits and three runs scored to lead the Wildcats, while Alexander had a double, single and three runs.
Stevens was 2-for-4 with a double, while Torry Bates and Tyler Singleton each added 2-for-4 performances. Meridian had 16 hits and took advantage of four Yellow Jacket errors.
Union was led by Darby's home run and a pair of doubles by Jody Blount. Eric Graham had the Yellow Jackets' other hit with a single.
Meridian returns to action today with a twinbill at Starkville. The Wildcats take on Tupelo at 5 p.m., then battle host Starkville at 7 p.m.
Union is also in action again today, as the 13-7 Yellow Jackets go to Noxapater for a key Division 5-1A matchup that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.