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franklin county times

Ridgeland's Smith hurls District Six to gold medal

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
June 24, 2002
The best pitching performance in the State Games of Mississippi baseball tournament came by a player who has yet to compete for his high school.
Confused? Justin Smith, who will be a junior at Ridgeland High School when its doors open for the first time in August, threw six innings of one-hit ball to lead District Six to a 5-0 win over two-time defending champion District One in Sunday's gold medal game.
Smith no-hit District One for five innings before giving up a leadoff single to Tupelo's Jon Hancock in the bottom of the sixth. Smith finished with two walks and two strikeouts.
New Ridgeland baseball coach Tim Dowdy had made sure Smith would wear a Ridgeland cap for the State Games, the first player to don the black and sky blue headgear in competition.
Smith held the District One batters firmly in check as only two got to second base in his six frames.
District Six had qualified for the gold medal game with a 3-1 win over District Eight Saturday night. District One had already played two games Sunday by the time the title game rolled around. District One lost its first game of the day to District Four 5-2 before taking a 9-4 win in the rematch.
Meanwhile, District Six waited and waited to finally play.
District Six got its first run in the top of the third as Toddric Johnson of Provine doubled and scored when District One catcher Brian Boatner's pickoff throw went into center field.
The winners added another unearned run in the fourth. Logan Power reached on a two-out error by Hancock at third base and scored on a double by Matt Page.
Sudduth had three singles, while Johnson had a single and a double. Jason Stewart added a pair of singles.
The gold medal was the first for District Six since 1998 and atoned for a 6-2 loss to District One in last year's title game.
District One 9
District Four 4
Clay Dozier of Itawamba AHS tossed a complete game to get the win for District One, allowing 10 hits, five of which came in the final two innings of the early afternoon contest.
Dozier also had a field day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs, to enable District One to advance to the gold medal game and gain redemption for a 5-2 loss to District Four earlier in the day. Dozier had a two-run double in the first inning, a two-run triple in the third, and an RBI-single in the fourth.
District One also got a 3-for-5 performance from Nettleton's Jeffery Rea. Scottie Jacobs and Josh Johnson both added a pair of singles.
Eli Dew of Kosciusko and Hunter Abrams of New Hope both had two singles for District Four.
John Fortenberry of Carthage took the loss, allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. He had one strikeout.
District One had a dozen hits, while District Four had 10.
The game was delayed for 51 minutes because of rain in the top of the fourth inning.
District Four 5
District One 2
District Four scored two unearned runs in the first inning and another in the third in giving District One its first loss in the Sunday morning contest.
The winners added two more runs, only one of which was earned, in the top of the fifth.
District Four had six hits, a double by Jonathan Booker of Philadelphia and a single each from Bruce Edwards, Eli Dew, Stephen Pusha, Dustin Rhodes, and Louisville's Chris Perry.
District Four had four hits, a two-run homer by Brian Boatner in the bottom of the seventh, a double by Jon Hancock, and a single apiece from Scottie Jacobs and Clay Dozier.
Jesse Carver tossed a complete game for the win, striking out five and walking three. He allowed four hits.
District One starter Andy Rice took the loss, allowing three runs (none of which were earned) off only one hit in four innings. He struck out two and walked two