Gulfport takes first game from Natchez

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 21, 2000

Gulfport answered quick after Natchez struck for two runs in its first at-bat, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning and adding two in the second on its way to a 9-4 win over the Bulldogs in Gulfport Thursday.

The Admirals take a 1-0 lead in the Class 5A first round best of three series.

The second game will be played at Liberty Park Saturday at 2 p.m.

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Natchez scored two runs in the top of the first as Calvin Jackson walked, Nolan Coward singled and Brock Barlow collected an RBI-single.

Brian Kossum hit into a fielder’s choice to score the second run of the inning.

Kossum struck out the first two Gulfport batters, but a single and Bulldog error led to a 3-run home run by John Parker to give the Admirals the lead.

&uot;That gave them the momentum back,&uot; said Natchez High coach Michael Lindsey. &uot;But we were still in it at that stage.&uot;

Parker’s home run was his fourth of the season. Robbie Henderson leads the Admirals with seven round-trippers.

The Admirals would add three runs in the fourth inning and score one more in the sixth.

&uot;They put the ball in play,&uot; Lindsey said

Natchez’s final two runs would come in the sixth inning.

The Bulldogs finished with five hits off of Gulfport ace Joey Coleman, but committed three errors.

&uot;They made us pay for every error,&uot; Lindsey said. &uot;They only had two earned runs.&uot;

Gulfport tallied 10 hits and commited only one error.

Barlow led Natchez at the plate, collecting three singles in four at-bats.

If a third game is necessary, it will be played back in Gulfport on Monday.

Natchez finished second in Division 6-5A, while Gulfport beat out Hattiesburg in its district.

The previous few years saw a doubleheader played on Saturday, if necessary, but that format has changed.

Natchez fell to 8-17 with the loss, while Gulfport improved to 20-14.

Coleman improved his record to 9-1 with the win.

In other baseball playoff action, Franklin County fell to Poplarville 15-1 Thursday in Meadville in the first game of a Class 3A best of three series.

The second game will be played in Poplarville Saturday.