Meridian Star

March 14, 2014

Meridian takes two from Quitman, 11-1 and 9-5, in baseball

By Reed DeSalvo \ The Meridian Star
The Meridian Star

— MERIDIAN — Meridian High School’s J’Mar Smith smacked three base hits, drove in 3 runs, and scored four times to help lead the Wildcats to a doubleheader sweep over Quitman High School, 11-1 and 9-5, Thursday at Q.V. Sykes Park.

“I’ve been doing a lot of hitting off the tee,” Smith said. “Trying to get my vision better, so that I can put the ball in play.”

Meridian (3-3) was originally scheduled to play Sweet Water High School at 2 p.m. and face QHS at 6:30, but the Sweet Water matchup was postponed, forcing a double header against the Panthers.

In the first game, Meridian pitcher Jarred Scott tossed five innings, allowing just two base hits and struck out 10 Quitman batters. Scott (1-2) didn’t allow an earned run.

“Jarred is very smart on the mound,” Meridian coach Robert “Popeye” Cole said. “He can control his pitches. He knows how to throw them and when to throw them. We have a lot of confidence in Jarred.”

Quitman (2-6) scored its lone run in the top of the first when Hayden Myrick reached on a MHS fielding error and eventually came around to score on Taylor Crayton’s double to deep left.

Meridian answered Quitman’s score with five runs in the botom of the frame. Quintravious Warren walked to start the inning and later stole second - one of his three stolen bases in the two games. Warren crossed home following a Smith RBI single to right field. Following Smith’s single, consecutive walks loaded the bases. Smith scored on a Kyle Colston wild pitch, and Scott drove in Austin Garrett with a base hit. Merdian scored their final run of the inning when Jacoby Cole touched home following another Colston wild pitch.

“We’re letting baseball beat us right now,” Quitman coach Jim Abraham said. “The game is beating us right now.”

The Wildcats added a single run in the third and rallied for another 5-run inning in the fourth, which was capped off by Scott’s RBI single to give MHS an 11-1 advantage.

“I think our hitting is going to be our strong point this year,” Cole said. “The more runs we put up, the better we are going to be.”

Scott struck out two of the three Quitman hitters in the fifth to secure the win.

“My pitches were good,” Scott said. “I was able to locate my breaking ball pretty well.”

In Game 2, Meridian began where it left off in the opener, scoring single runs in the first and third. The Wildcats broke the game open with yet another 5-run inning in the fourth.  Corey Davis, an East Mississippi Community College football signee, doubled to right to drive in Scott and Jacoby Cole.

Aaron Garrett pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, but then ran into trouble. Quitman loaded the bases following two walks and a single by Crayton. Garrett was replaced by Smith, who walked the first two batters he faced, bringing the Panthers to within striking distance, 7-2. But Smith struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

Garrett finished with four strikeouts, allowing one hit, but walked eight batters in earning the win.

Each squad tacked on additional runs for the final outcome.

“We need to field the baseball better,” Abraham said. “We pitched fine. We have to defend better. We have to start putting the ball in play and have to eliminate the strikeouts.”

The two teams are slated to meet again Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Quitman.