Natchez All-Stars eliminatedPublished 12:01am Saturday, June 23, 2012
NATCHEZ — The Copiah 7- and 8-year-old All-Star team had too many hits and too many good defensive plays up its sleeve Friday night for the Natchez All-Stars to handle.fifth
Copiah managed to pound out nine hits and eight runs in the first three innings and then held on to beat Natchez 10-6.
“I think our inexperience showed a lot early in the game,” Natchez coach Geoff Flattmann said. “We hit the ball well in the middle innings, and you just have to tip your hat to Copiah. They made good plays on defense, and we had a bad night.”
The loss eliminated Natchez from the Mississippi Dixie Youth North sub-district tournament, but Flattmann said although his players were disappointed, they had nothing to hang their heads about.
“They worked so hard for two weeks and got so much better,” he said. “These players played with respect for each other, the game and their opponents. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Copiah scored two runs on three hits to open the game in the top of the first inning.
Natchez answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning when Zeke Flattmann, who reached on a single, came around to score after Paxton Junkin singled.
Copiah added one more run in the second and exploded for five runs on five hits and two Natchez errors in the third inning.
The biggest hit of the inning came off the bat of Copiah’s Kloe Guy, who singled to score two runs that gave Copiah an 8-1 lead.
Natchez answered right back with its biggest inning of the game in the bottom of the third.
Four-consecutive singles by Samuel Merriett, Tommy Van Winkle, Zehlin Cornett and Zeke highlighted the four-run inning. Mason Wells also singled in the frame, and Junkin had an RBI-fly out.
Natchez trailed 8-5 after three innings, but Copiah was able to stretch its lead again in the fifth inning.
Chris Ellis led of the inning with a single, and Conner Toney doubled to score Ellis. Toney came around to score later in the inning to push the lead to 10-5.
Natchez inched closer in the bottom of the fifth when Merriett came around to score on a Copiah error. But Natchez went down 1-2-3 in the sixth, and final inning.
Zeke led Natchez offensively going 2-for-3 in the contest. Ellis collected three hits for Copiah.
Natchez finished with nine hits in the game, and Copiah collected 14 total hits.
Geoff said his young players would learn a lot from their two games in the sub-district.
“At the end of the day, these are 7- and 8-year-olds,” he said. “They are babies. Sure we are disappointed, and no one is leaving here happy, but this group represented Natchez real well.”
Copiah will move on to face Franklin County at 4 p.m. today.