14-year-olds remain undefeated
By By Will Bardwell & Austin Bishop/staff writers
July 10, 2004
Meridian used outstanding pitching and strong defense to roll into today's winners' bracket finals in the Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old State Baseball Tournament.
Meridian won its opener 11-1 over Florence and then used a one-hit pitching performance by Justin Pritchett to beat St. Martin 4-0 in the nightcap.
Meridian faces Long Beach which beat Olive Branch 4-3 and Clinton 10-1 on Friday at 4 p.m. today. The winner of that game moves into Sunday afternoon's finals in the six-team, double-elimination tournament.
St. Martin 0
Meridian rode the strong pitching of Pritchett and a clutch two-run single by Mac Hamburg to win the opener.
The game was 0-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
After a groundout to open the bottom of the fifth, Pritchett reached first after being hit by a pitch and moved to third on a hard single off the first baseman's glove to put runners on first and third. After pinch-runner stole second, Hamburg singled up the middle to score Pritchett and Martin.
Galistel felt better when Meridian used singles by Trey Fox, Dee Martin and Landon Burt to pick up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Pritchett struck out 12 batters on the way to picking up the win on the mound.
D.J. Roberts went 4-for-4 with two doubles, and Junior Timmons added a triple and a single as Meridian claimed a 10-run-rule victory over Florence 11-1.
Meridian plated four runs in the first inning and another four in the second inning to quickly outdistance Florence, which will play Olive Branch in an elimination game at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Josh Fadden scored Florence's only run in the fourth inning, and Clark Boatner countered for Meridian by coming across in the bottom of the fifth for a 9-1 lead.
Timmons led off the sixth by crushing a pitch into the right-center field gap for a triple, then scored in the next at-bat on a Mac Hamburg single. Michael McKenzie scored Meridian's victory-clinching run later in the inning.
Galistel said moving into the winners' bracket was crucial for his team, which lacks a deep pitching rotation.
Long Beach 10
Long Beach scored seven runs in the third inning and then held on for the win.
Andy Sorenson ripped a single and double to lead Long Beach, while Jeremy Hill and Michael Hornsburger had a double each.
Long Beach 4
Olive Branch 3
Long Beach scored two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to take the victory.
Blake Dartez had a two-run double for the winners in the fourth, while Long Beach used two errors by Olive Branch and a single by Andy Sorenson to score two more times in the fifth.
Olive Branch used a double by Mitch Ivy and a single by Cody Denton to score two runs in the fourth. Dale West also doubled for Olive Branch.