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Meridian Pre-Majors tumble to Laurel in State Tournament

By By Shawn Wansley / EMG staff writer
July 15, 2002
LAUREL The Laurel-Jones County All-Stars are sittin' pretty in the Dixie Pre-Majors State Tournament.
But they know they still have a long way to go.
"We feel good about where we are," said L-JC Pre Majors Manager Rick Sutton, following his team's 12-1 victory over Meridian Sunday night at Wooten-Legion Field. "But we know we have to come to play every night."
Sunday's victory was on the heels of a 2-1, eight-inning decision over Hattiesburg, late Saturday night by L-JC.
Those two wins set up a showdown with unbeaten Carthage tonight at 8. Carthage drilled Tylertown 11-1, in five innings, Sunday after whipping Cleveland 10-0 in six innings Saturday.
Meridian falls into the loser's bracket and meets Lawrence County today at 3.
"Carthage is a very sound team. They're tough." Sutton said. They've been impressive so far. They're mainly 15-year-olds and they've got one 16 year-old that pitched for them last year and pitched well as a 15 year-old.
"They are a very good ballclub, play good fundamental baseball and swing the bats well. We know we'll have our hands full."
L-JC received a stellar pitching performance from Ben Smith against Meridian.
Smith went the distance -seven innings- gave up just three hits and struck out eight. Offensively, he had three singles and two RBI's.
"Ben stepped forward and did a great job for us tonight," Sutton said of the Laurel Golden Tornado. "He only walked on batter and did an excellent job."
At the plate, leadoff man, Trey Sutton did a perfect job of setting the table. The West Jones product went 5-for-5 with four singles, a double, two runs scored and two RBI's. And number six hitter, Britt Barefoot drilled three singles and scored four runs.
"We shuffled the lineup a little bit," Rick Sutton said. "Britt scored four runs in the 'six' hole, which is excellent. Trey had five hits. That's two of the moves we made in the lineup.
"We swung the bats much better tonight than we did against Hattiesburg. I was hoping our bats would come alive tonight and they did. We had several balls that were hit hard that were either just foul or Meridian made some really nice plays and kept a few others from falling."
Trey Sutton started the game off with a sharp single down the first base line into right field. He stole second, took third on a ground out and scored on a passed ball.
L-JC added three runs in the second. Barefoot led off with a single. Adam Parker reached on a fielder's choice and Barefoot went to third on an error.
Michael Welch drove in a run on a bunt single and Parker went to third on an error. Parker then scored on a passed ball. After a fly out, Trey Sutton had a bunt single. Smith followed with another infield single, which scored Welch, making it 4-0.
Meridian's only run came in the second. Randy Diveley reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, took third on an error and scored on Dave Woods' sacrifice bunt.
In the L-JC third, Barefoot reached on a fielder's choice, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a pressed ball.
L-JC went up 7-1 in the fifth. Barefoot led off the inning with a single. Britt King's hit scored Barefoot and Trey Sutton's double to left plated King.
The host team closed the scoring with a five-run seventh.
Barefoot-again-led off with a single and Brent Welch followed with a walk. After a pop up and a strike out, Trey Sutton-again- singled, scoring Barefoot.
Smith then singled to right scoring Brent Welch. Matt Andrews then reached on an infield single and smith came home to score on a throwing error. A dropped pop up allowed Andrew's to score the game's final run.
For Meridian, Daniel Boyd doubled and singled and Jason Pritchett singled. Jamie Fontan started, went six innings and took the loss. Diveley pitched the seventh inning.