Meridian Star

Sports

June 4, 2014

Southeast, Meridian square off

MERIDIAN — With the 2014 baseball season in the books, Meridian High School and Southeast High School turned their sights to the 2015 campaign by squaring off in an summer exhibition contest Tuesday.

“We’re trying to figure out what different guys can do,” Meridian High School coach Robert “Popeye” Cole said. “We’re looking to see what guys can do, and what guys have matured and can step up for us this coming year, and what we need to work on.”

Added Southeast Lauderdale coach Shay Cooper, “We are just looking to improve. That’s what we tell the kids constantly, and just trying to make sure we are getting better.”

With the Wildcats trailing 10-9 in the top of the seventh inning, the Wildcats rallied to tie the game and took the lead when senior-to-be Tyler Stringfellow scampered home from third following a wild pitch.

“One thing we are trying to instill into our team, is to not give up no matter what,” Cole said. “In baseball, anything can happen. As long as you keep fighting and plugging, anything can happen.”

Meridian tacked on another run in the frame following another wild pitch.

In the bottom of the frame, Southeast threatened with two runners in scoring position and only one out, but Trey Warren induced a ground out and a fly out on consecutive pitches to preserve a 12-10 win.

With an offseason exhibition contest, it gives the respective coaches an opportunity to experiment with various lineups configurations.

“Jamal (Horn, who played catcher for five innings) he did pretty well for us,” Cole said. “He’s been lifting weights for football, so he has some dead legs. He needs to work on his throwing, and his blocking skills, but with a little work, he could be pretty good back there.”

Added Cooper, “We tried to put some guys in positions that they haven’t been in before. There were some little wins within the game, even though we didn’t come out on top in the end overall.”

For the Wildcats, Jacoby Cole smacked a two-run double and J’Mar Smith chipper in with a single and two RBI. Trey Warren contributed with an RBI single and swiped three bases.

For the Tigers, Bryan Rivers, Luke Files and Shirley all laced run scoring singles. Additionally, senior-to-be Brett Carney roped an RBI double.

“We have big shoes to fill, there is no doubt about that,” Cooper said. “With the loss of that senior class, we’re really going to have to have some people step up for us to score runs and do some things offensively ... Some of our younger guys showed they are more than capable of coming through for us when they are given the opportunity.”

Southeast Lauderdale hosts Union High School at 7 p.m. Thursday.

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