West wins 10th state crown
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
May 15, 2001
INDEPENDENCE Pretty soon they're going to have to add more light poles to West Lauderdale's baseball field.
West Lauderdale blanked Independence 3-0 Monday to capture the Class 3A state baseball championship.
It was the 10th state championship for the Knights and each of the previous nine titles are proudly displayed on the light poles around the field. Space is getting pretty limited.
West Lauderdale finishes the season at 36-5, while Independence goes out at 28-12.
The Knights got single runs in the first, fourth, and seventh frames and kept the Wildcats from crossing the plate behind the pitching of Trent Posey and Todd Doolittle.
In the top of the first inning, Josh Snider led off with a single off the foot of Independence pitcher Brett Cleveland. Snider then stole second and third and scored on Van Wilson's ground out to second baseman Paul Fowler.
The Knights took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Doolittle reached base on an error on Wildcat third baseman Ryne Shackleford, stole second, and then scored when Posey doubled down the left-field line.
The final run came in the top of the seventh as Miles Joyner beat out an infield hit with courtesy runner Brad McKee stealing second and taking third on a wild pitch. C.J. Fountain then laid down a perfect bunt to score McKee with the Knights' third run.
Cleveland (10-4) was the hard-luck loser despite allowing only four hits and striking out 10. He did not issue a walk, but did hit one batter.
Posey (6-1) tossed five shutout innings before giving way to Doolittle with two on and no outs in the bottom of the sixth. Wilson ran down a fly ball by Jeffrey Ferrell in left-center to take away an extra-base hit for the first out. A pop up on the infield and a strikeout ended the inning with Independence still scoreless.
Posey left the bases loaded in the first and third frames.
Posey's getting to the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead was big for Boatner as he could now turn the game over to his ace right-hander.
Doolittle had struck out 18 in a complete game win Saturday night in Collinsville.
The Knights finished the game with just four hits: Posey's double, a single by Snider, and infield hits by Richie McAllister and Joyner.
The Knights committed three errors in the title game.
Posey turned in a defensive gem to start the bottom of the seventh when he went high at shortstop to rob Ferrell of a leadoff hit.
The Wildcats had runners at second and third in the seventh before Doolittle fanned Fowler for the final out.
It was the 14th time in the last 28 years for the Knights to reach the state championship game.
Cleveland, a Mississippi State signee, had a single and a double to account for nearly all of Independence's three hits. Fowler added a single.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.