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franklin county times

Meridian 9-year-olds add title

By Staff
POWERHOUSE Alex Stegall throws to first during Wednesday afternoon practice before the team leaves for regionals. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
July 18, 2002
The Popular Springs Estates area could gain a new nickname, Champions Alley.
That's because three of the head coaches for Meridian's youth baseball All-Star teams that have won Cal Ripken state titles, all live in the neighborhood.
Todd Nosco did his part by directing the Meridian 9-year-old All-Stars to the Ripken State title last week at Orange Grove Park in Gulfport.
Nosco's 9-year-old state-title winning team used a pitching staff full of variety to sweep its away to the Ripken Southwest Regionals. The regional begins Friday at Sherwood, Ark. Meridian will face Jacksonville, Ark., in its tournament opener.
Nosco said the team's success revolves around its pitching and a strong hitting team.
That could be a case to move up?
Then there is the pitching which was able to keep opposing runners off the bases for the most part.
The pitching staff is led by Nate Fincher, Daniel Knox, Jeremy Kidd and Wes Stokes.
Meridian won all four its games in Gulfport. They opened by ripping Orange Grove 15-1. They then survived a close game with Vicksburg 8-7. They then beat Gulfport twice, 10-4 and 7-4.
A key with the batting is that the Meridian 9s compete during the Meridian 10s in the same league.
The line-up for the Meridian 9s has Wes Stokes at first base. Kidd plays at second while Alex Stegal bats third and plays shortstop.
Know is at third and Zac Johnson is the catcher. The outfield has Charlie Nosco in left, Jonny Huntley in center and Jake Magnasson in left.
Key reserves off the bench are Jalen Burwell, Zac Harper and Tyler Roberts.