Meridian out to win more Babe Ruth state crowns
WATCHFUL EYE Meridian Babe Ruth 13-year-olds Coach Rob Bullock watches Wednesday as Tyler McMullen practices his pitching with catcher Cory Griffin. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Cassie Chance/Special to the Star
July 19, 2001
Meridian is expected to be a factor in Babe Ruth State Tournament action this weekend with the city hosting the 13-year-old state tourney and the 14-year-olds traveling to Jackson to defend their crown.
Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field will be the site of the Mississippi 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star Tournament, which features several teams from across the state, including the defending 12-year-old state and regional champions from Meridian.
The host team will open play Friday at 1 p.m. A victory will set up another game at 7 p.m. Friday night.
According to head coach Larry Vick, his squad is on the right track to repeat the success of last year, however, he also noted the stiff competition in this year's bracket.
"All the teams we play are going to be good," said Vick. "Last year, the teams were good as 12-year-olds, and we're expecting them to be good this year."
To help the 13- and 14-year-old squads prepare for the state tournaments, the two teams have been facing off against each other in scrimmage games.
"These scrimmage games have helped tremendously," said Vick. "We've seen good pitching, good hitting, and they've made us play defense."
The North Meridian Optimist 14-year-old All-Stars are also geared up and ready to defend the state tournament title they claimed last season.
Meridian begins play Friday morning at 9 a.m. in Jackson's Smith Wills Stadium. A victory would set up a 5 p.m. contest Friday. A loss, and they would drop into an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m.
Head coach George Warner has depth and experience on his squad, something he hopes will help the team defend the title.
"We're deep," said Warner. "We just keep getting stronger each year. We've added some players this year that came in and really improved. I think we've got a pretty good team. Of course, baseball has to be played on the field and anyone can win on a given day."
Warner agrees that the practice games have been very beneficial to both Meridian squads.
"What we hoped to accomplish through these practice games is team unity, and it seems to have worked well," said Warner. "It helps us and it also helps the 13-year-olds."
The winner of the 14-year-old state tournament advances to the regional tourney to be held in Bay City, Texas, southwest of Houston.
Cassie Chance is a sports correspondent for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bracket for the Babe Ruth 13-year-old State Tournament being held July 20-24 at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field.
Game 1: 10 a.m. – Corinth vs. Gulfport
Game 2: 1 p.m. – Meridian vs. Leakesville
Game 3: 4 p.m. – Vicksburg vs. Corinth/Gulfport winner
Game 4: 7 p.m. – Columbus vs. Meridian/Leakesville winner
Game 5: 10 a.m. – Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3
Game 6: 1 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7: 4 p.m. – Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 8: 7 p.m. – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 9: 3 p.m. – Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
Game 10: TBA or 6 p.m. – Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9
Game 11: TBA or 6 p.m. – Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 10 (if 1st loss)
The bracket for the Babe Ruth 14-year-old State Tournament being held July 20-24 at Jackson's Smith-Wills Stadium.
Game 1: 9 a.m. – Meridian vs. Tupelo
Game 2: 11:30 a.m. – St. Martin vs. Vicksburg
Game 3: 2 p.m. – Jackson vs. Ripley
Game 4: 5 p.m. – Walthall Co. vs. Meridian/Tupelo winner
Game 5: 7:30 p.m. – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 6: 10 a.m. – Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3
Game 7: 1 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 5
Game 8: 4 p.m. – Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 9: 7 p.m. – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Game 10: 12:30 p.m. – Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
Game 11: 3 p.m. – Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10
Game 12: 6 p.m. or Monday TBA – Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11
Game 13: TBA or 6 p.m. – Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 12 (if 1st loss)