Meridian 11s set for next title
FULL POWER Dallas Hannah throws back into first during 11-year-old All Stars practice. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
July 24, 2002
The Meridian 11-year-old Cal Ripken All-Stars may not have a state championship under their belt, but they hope to come back with an even bigger title.
The team will be traveling to Louisiana to play in the 11-year-old Cal Ripken regionals. Meridian will face Little Rock at 6 p.m. on Friday.
The tournament is the final and biggest tournament of the year for the team since 11-year-olds do not have a World Series tournament. There will be 17 teams traveling to play in the double-elimination event.
Meridian finished second in the state tournament to advance to play in the regionals. Clinton won the state championship after three hard-fought games against Meridian.
Clinton won the first game 5-4 to send Meridian to losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament. Clinton used some unbelievable plays in the outfield to stay in the ballgame and then took advantage of a Meridian mistake to tie the game and eventually take the win.
Meridian took a 6-2 seven-inning victory over host Vicksburg and beat Clinton 3-2 to force a final game.
In the final game, the teams had to sit through a rain delay after Clinton jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Meridian came out flat after the delay and Clinton was able to win the state championship 4-0.
Overall, Galistel was pleased with his team's performance, especially on the mound.
Meridian will need the same pitching effort to stay in the winners' bracket of the regionals. Cameron Thomas and Jett Miller are the top two starters for the team. Dallas Hannah also pitches for Meridian along with several others.
Hitting is something the team has really focused on this week in practice. The team even had a few older guys come out to throw some curveballs in practice.
Mike Wamble and Donovan Hughes are helping Galistel with coaching duties.
Jamie Byrd, Trey Coker, Jake Watkins, Brock Hughes, Jake Wamble, Grant Theall, Bryce Branning, Jamie McElroy, Johnathan Bautlett and Hamp Glover round out the roster.