Tigers to host Patriots, Mustangs

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2004

After opening their 2004 season Monday in Hoover falling 5-2 to the Buccaneers and blasting Minor High 10-0, the Demopolis High Tigers baseball team will get back into action on Saturday when they host a three-game series with the 5A Stanhope-Elmore Mustangs and the 6A Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa Patriots.

The first pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. as the DHS Tigers face off with the Mustangs in a game that is sure to be loaded with talent.

“They get after it,” DHS head coach James Moody said. “Stanhope-Elmore, in my opinion is just a bunch off hard-nose country ball players who want to win at any cost.”

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In the second game of the day, the Mustangs will turn around and play Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. But before that game, DHS will honor one of their own as they retire the No. 18 jersey of DHS 1995 graduate, Jason Smith.

Smith was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers after his graduation from DHS, but signed to play at Meridian Community College (1995-1997). In his sophomore year at MCC Smith signed with the University of Alabama, but was drafted by the Chicago Cubs organization before getting his first start at Bama.

Smith played in the Cubs’ organization from 1997-2001, where in 2001 he was named Southern League All-star in the AA All-star Game. In 2001, Smith was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays where he spent the next three seasons. While with the Devil Rays organization, Smith put up career numbers hitting .285 in 2003 with 15 homeruns and 71 RBI’s, not to mention his outstanding performance in the AAA All-star Game where he started at shortstop and hit a homerun.

During the 2003 off-season, Smith was acquired by the Detroit Tigers and will soon be joining his teammates for spring training, which gets underway next week.

“Jason is a great ball player who has done so much for DHS over the years,” Moody said. “We are very proud of his accomplishments.”

The third game of the day will feature the Tigers and the Patriots late Saturday afternoon. The Patriots are (1-3) this season under first year head coach Todd Agee.

“If the weather holds up it will be one great day of baseball,” Moody said.