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Three local teams facing third-game challenge tonight

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
April 30, 2001
The fates of three area baseball teams rest in games that will be played tonight in their quest for state championships.
Meridian, 24-13, hosts Forest Hill, 22-10, at 6 p.m. in the third game of their Class 5A state playoff series.
Defending state champion Lake, 24-7, hosts Mercy Cross, 21-6, at 7 p.m. and Union, 22-12, hosts St. Aloysius, 21-3, at 6 p.m. in third games of their respective Class 1A series.
All three local teams bounced back from opening-night losses at home to earn series-tying wins on the road Saturday.
Meridian lost 11-5 at home to Forest Hill on Thursday, but beat the Rebels 6-4 in Jackson Saturday night.
Lake blew an 8-4 lead with an inning to go Friday in losing 12-8 before taking a 5-2 win in Biloxi Saturday afternoon.
Union lost 7-2 at home on Friday before taking a 3-1 victory in Vicksburg Saturday afternoon.
Hattiesburg, 28-7, awaits the Meridian-Forest Hill series winner for the 5A South State championship. That series is slated to open Thursday.
The Lake-Mercy Cross winner will get the Union-St. Aloysius winner for the 1A South State title in a series also scheduled to begin on Thursday.
Meanwhile, West Lauderdale is the only area team assured of a spot in the third round of the MHSAA playoffs.
The 32-3 Knights swept North Pike 10-0 and 15-1 to earn a berth in the Class 3A South State championship game with 27-10 Greene County which put the broom to Forest by 12-2 and 10-0 margins.
Third-round MHSAA series are slated for May 3-7 with state championship series May 10-14.
Area MHSAA teams that saw their season end in second-round sweeps last week were Clarkdale, 25-8; Philadelphia, 22-9; Louisville, 19-13; and Forest, 16-11.
In MPSA baseball, Kemper Academy takes on Heidelberg Academy in second round Academy A action this week.
Kemper knocked off traditional Academy A power University Christian in three games last week in opening-round action, while Heidelberg swept Tri-County to advance.
During the regular season, Kemper took a 2-1 win over the Rebels at DeKalb, while Heidelberg beat the Rams 9-3 at Heidelberg.
Game 1 is set for Tuesday at DeKalb, with the second and third, if needed, games Thursday at Heidelberg.
In Alabama, where first and second round matchups consist of a single game each, Choctaw County was eliminated with an 11-0 loss to Bibb County in Class 4A and Southern Choctaw was ousted with a 5-4 loss to Calera in Class 2A in first-round action.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com.

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