Tigers even series with Wildcats
By By Jeff Byrd / sports editor
April 27, 2003
HATTIESBURG A four-run first at bat proved to be more than enough help for Hattiesburg pitcher Martin Hankins.
Hankins tossed a four-hit shutout to help the home-standing Tigers to a 6-0 win over Meridian to even up the best-of-three, second-round Class 5A playoff series at a game apiece.
The deciding game three is set for 7 p.m. Monday at John Moss Field.
Wildcats head coach Vince McLemore said the early hole was a decisive factor.
Meridian (27-6) was out hit 9-4. Only two balls left the infield, both coming in the seventh inning.
The first one was on a long, fly-ball out by Bobby Stone in the mammoth Smokie Harrington Park. The second was a pinch-hit single by Kedrick Martin.
The key though was the four-run first.
Hattiesburg got a pair of two-run singles by Gregory Alexander and Ray Fitzpatrick. The hits came in between singles by Reggie Lee, Hankins and a walk to Percy Pittman.
Hankins struck out seven and walked just one.
Meridian's first three hits were all infield singles. Maurice Cole got two of the hits coming in at bats in the first and fourth innings.
The latter hit helped set up Meridian's best chance to score.
Kimone McDade reached on an error to advance Cole to third. With one out, Stone sent a fly ball to shallow center. Hattiesburg second baseman Reggie Lee
made the catch.
Cole tried to tag up and score but was thrown out at the plate to end the Meridian fourth.
Hattiesburg added single runs in the third and fifth.
Marcus Spann singled up the middle to score Fitzpatrick who opened the third with a double.
In the Tiger fifth, Alexander singled to right and then scored on a double down the left-field line by Terry Murphy to make it 6-0.
Hattiesburg (22-8) was led by Fitzpatrick with two hits and two RBI.
Alexander had two singles, two RBI and two runs scored. Lee had a single and a triple.
Kyle Boswell took the loss to fall to 8-3 on the season.