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Dixie Majors savor World Series crown

By Staff
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS n The Meridian Dixie Majors team returned home Friday with their World Series championship trophy. Members of the team are, front row from left, Wade Whitaker, Josh Snider, Matt Minchew, second row from left, Chase Spencer, Ryan Clay, Steve Bergin, Brad McKee, Josh McCarty, Ty Harbour, Phillip Garrett, back row from left, coach Neil Anderson, head coach Johnny Warren, Mann Dubose, Jason Spinks, Jonathan Stevens, Matt Creighton, Todd Doolittle and Mike Clarke. Photo by Matt Barrett/The Meridian Star.
By Matt Barrett/The Meridian Star
Aug. 4, 2001
Friends and family gave the Meridian Dixie Majors all-star baseball team a championship welcome Friday evening as they rolled in from North Charleston, S.C. with the World Series championship trophy in their possession.
The team had been on the road for nearly two weeks. They had played six tournament games since the tournament started last Sunday, winning five. The championship was finally decided Thursday night when Meridian defeated host North Charleston 7-5 in 10 innings to capture first place.
Pitching was the key
Doolittle pitched 15 innings, fanned 18 all-star batters, and gave up two earned runs. He started the championship game, pitching seven innings before being replaced with the score tied at 3-all. As the game progress into extra innings, Doolittle returned to mound and finished the game to pick up the victory. "He said he wanted to finish what he started," said coach Neil Anderson.
Teaming with Doolittle to make the Meridian almost unhittable was Matt Creighton of Quitman High School. "He was unbelievable," said Anderson.
There were only six earned runs for the tournament.
Big plays
Doolittle and Creighton had plenty of support on defense, including two major defensive plays that kept Meridian alive.
In the seventh inning with the bases loaded, a North Charleston batter hit a long ball. It looked like the ball game as the runner headed in. However, centerfielder Brad McKee caught the ball and rifled the ball into to homeplate to gun down the runner at the plate and keep the game alive.
Right after that, second baseball Josh Snider made an "unreal catch of a line drive" to end the inning.
Each team added two runs and score stood at 5-all.
Matt Minchew led of the ninth, and was hit by a pitch. Snider walked. Both runners advanced on a past ball. Then Phillip Garrett sacrificed to leftfield that scored the winning run.
In the bottom half of the inning, Doolittle returned to the mound and struck out the side.
Earlier games
After a rainout the night before, Meridian played Virginia on Sunday morning and racked up a 4-0 win. Doolittle was the winning pitcher, allowing only three hits. Mann Dubose had a two-run homer.
Overall, Dubose batted .500 for the tournament, going 8-for-16. He pounded six RBI.
That night, Meridian defeated Tennessee 7-2. Creighton was the winning pitcher with Jason Spinks coming on in relief.
Monday, Meridian came from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Florida 9-4. Ryan Clay was the winning pitcher with Creighton picking up the save. Meridian was sparked by a five-run effort in the bottom of the first.
Tuesday, Meridian ran into the host team and dropped a 7-2 decision to West Charleston.
Wednesday, Meridian survived an elimination game by downing Virginia 4-0. Spinks was the starter with Creighton picking up another save. Spinks, a Meridian High senior, had two wins for the tournament. In 10 innings, he allowed no earned runs and only five hits.
The win put Meridian into the champion game against North Charleston.
Matt Barrett is a sports writer for The Meridian Star.