Meridian eyes more state crowns, begins working
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
July 11, 2002
With two state titles in the bag, the Meridian Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth All-Stars will seek to add to its collection on Friday when three more state tournaments get underway.
On Tuesday night, the Meridian 10-year-old Cal Ripken All-Stars beat the Vicksburg Hurricanes 9-5 for the state title at Phil Hardin Park. The victory climaxed a four-day, 10-team tournament.
North Meridian Optimist Club Baseball President Rob Bullock said the event was also a success at the gate.
The Meridian 9-year-old Ripken All-Stars won its state title on Monday night at Orange Grove in Gulfport. The Meridian 9s will advance to the Ripken Southwestern Regional on July 18 in Slyvania Hills, Ark., a suburb of Little Rock.
Meridian Community College will be the host site for the Babe Ruth 14s Southwestern Regional which feature host Meridian and nine state and sub-state champions. Teams are scheduled to arrive on Aug. 1.
Much like the State 10s Tournament, a banquet for the teams will precede tournament play. The NMO has lined up another impressive speaker in former Major League Baseball slugger Will Clark. Mississippi State head baseball coach Ron Polk spoke at the state banquet held at the Frank Cochran Center last Friday.
By winning state Tuesday night, the Meridian 10s will advance to the Cal Ripken 10-year-old Southwestern Regional which will be held in Lake Village, Ark. The tournament will have 10 teams including Meridian, host Lake Village and champions from North Arkansas, South Arkansas, East Texas, West Texas, South Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
On Friday, Meridian teams will begin play in three state tournaments across the state.
The Meridian 11s will head to Vicksburg for the Ripken State Tournament. The 10-team tournament will be held at Halls Ferry Park. Meridian will play either Gulfport Orange Grove or Gulfport Bayou View on Friday.
The Meridian 12s are off to New Albany for that division's state tournament. Meridian received a first-round bye and will face the winner between New Albany and Stone County in the second round on Friday.
The Meridian 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars will take on host St. Martin on Friday in the first round of the state tournament.