Meridian plays host to state events
By By Jared Florreich / staff writer
July 9, 2003
Meridian plays host to two Babe Ruth State tournaments this week, with both the 13-year-old and 14-year-old events getting started on Friday morning at Q.V. Sykes Park.
The games this weekend will be the first ever played at the facility, which according to tournament co-chairman Rob Bullock, is "A beautiful ballpark and looks great," and the perfect place for baseball.
Q.V. Sykes Park is a complex that has three playing fields. The park has sustained damage as a result of recent rains, but Bullock said the park will be ready when the tournaments begin.
"The weather has hampered preparations, but our crew is working hard to get the park tournament ready and in the best shape for baseball," Bullock said. "It probably won't be perfect, but it'll be good enough for baseball."
Teams will arrive Thursday, and will attend a welcome banquet at Frank Cochran Center in Highland Park. Meridian Community College head baseball coach Mike Federico will be the guest speaker.
There will be six districts represented in the 13-year-old tournament, with teams from Columbus, Vicksburg, St. Martin, Corinth, Long Beach, and Meridian competing.
Five districts will be represented in the 14-year-old tournament. Teams from Olive Branch, New Albany, Stone County, Long Beach, and Meridian will be in action.
The winners in both age groups will compete in the Southwest Regional. The 13-year old-winner will play in Warren, Ark, and the 14-year-old winner will compete in Bentonville, Ark. The regional winners will advance to the World Series, which will be played in Pine Bluff, Ark. for the 13-year-olds, and Quincy, Mass. for the 14-year-olds.
Friday's 13-year-old action will feature Columbus against St. Martin at 11 a.m., Meridian against Vicksburg at 2 p.m., Corinth against the winner of Columbus-St. Martin winner at 5 p.m., and Long Beach against the winner of Meridian-Vicksburg at 8 p.m.
Friday day-one action for the 14-year-olds includes Meridian against Olive Branch at 10 a.m., New Albany against Stone County at 1 p.m., and Long Beach against the winner of Meridian-Olive Branch at 4 p.m. There will be a losers' bracket game at 7 p.m.
Tickets will be $3 a day and $7 for an all-tournament ticket.
"If the weather holds up, we'll have a good tournament," Bullock said.