Meridian Star

March 2, 2013

‘Cats flounder in fourth, lose to Southeast

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — One inning, six walks, four hits, two hit by pitches and 10 runs.

    That recipe proved to be a disaster for the Meridian High School baseball team, as the Wildcats fell apart in the fourth inning, losing to visiting Southeast Lauderdale Friday night at QV Sykes Field.

    “Basically we got a little bit behind in our pitching,” Meridian head coach Robert Cole said about the Wildcats' horrific fourth inning. “We started walking folks and making mental errors. That's what put us behind. After that, it was hard for us to catch back up.”

    The two teams battled each other as well as the chilling 39-degree weather on the night. Cole said the cold might have added to his team's sloppy play on the night, but stated it was no excuse for the loss.

    “I'm pretty sure it had an affect,” Cole said. “But it was the same for both teams, it was the same temperature for them as it was for us.”

    The Tigers were led at the plate by first baseman Dillon Rivers, who went 2/3 on the night with two RBIs. Mason Irby had a big night for the Tigers as well, going 2/4 with a triple and two RBIs. The Tigers performance at the plate was a stark contrast to yesterday's game against the Wildcats, where Southeast lost 8-3 at home.

    “Rivers knocked in some runs for us which was big,” Southeast head coach Shay Cooper said. “That was big, because last night we left 10 runners in scoring position. So, that was one of our points of emphasis in the game. He was big, and so was Mason Irby, who had a big triple for us in the gap. If we were in any other ball bark, that would have been out of here.”

     Southeast starting pitcher Jake Miller limited the damage against a talented Wildcat lineup, working five innings while giving up six runs and striking out six batters to earn the win for the Tigers.

    “We got a good performance out of Jake tonight,” Cooper said. “He threw well for us. He threw strikes, kept them off balance. He did a good job, because they have a good lineup. He kind of kept them at bay, so we are really proud of him for that.”

    Despite the tough loss, Cole said the Wildcats are a young team and his players have their best baseball in front of them. Meridian (1-1) will play Terry at QV Sykes field today at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., while Southeast (2-2) will travel to Clarkdale.

    “We are trying to establish our identity as an aggressive team,” Cole said. “Things like this are going to happen once in a while, but we will keep working and trying to get that right combination together so we can succeed as a team.”