Natchez falls in state opener

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 23, 2000

The 9-10 Dixie Youth/Taco Bell AAA&160;State Tournament began Saturday night at Duncan Park, showcasing a pair of slugfests and a pair of low-scoring affairs. The Natchez Confederates fell into the loser’s bracket on the first day, losing to Hattiesburg American 13-5.

In earlier action, Cleveland defeated Magee 12-9, Carthage won over Philadelphia 3-1, and Franklin County overcame a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3 versus Columbus.

The first games were delayed because of an afternoon thunderstorm.

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The first inning of the Natchez-Hattiesburg game saw each pitcher hold the opposing team to no hits or runs.

Natchez’s Patrick McDonough only threw four pitches to get three outs, while Hattiesburg’s Tyler Kitrell struck out the side in the bottom of the first.

Hattiesburg got the scoring started in the top of the second inning, as two runs scored on consecutive singles, and Steven Graves brought home another with a sacrifice fly.

Natchez threatened in the bottom half of the second, as they put runners on second and third base, but Kitrell struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unharmed.

Hattiesburg got back to the attack in the top of the third, when Keriaus McBride and Tyler Morgan both walked.

Two Natchez errors allowed runs to score, and a bases loaded triple by Jarrod Smith made the score 8-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning.

Kitrell held Natchez in check in their half of the third allowing no runs and no hits.

Kitrell added the next run for Hattiesburg in the top of the fifth with an RBI-single.

Natchez scored its first run in the bottom of the fifth on a fielder’s choice.

Josh Hubbell and Ryan McSwain ripped consecutive RBI-doubles in the top of the sixth inning, which put Hattiesburg up 13-1.

A Matt Barnes fielder’s choice added the second Natchez run, before Dustin Carroll made the score 13-5 in favor of Hattiesburg with a three-run home run to deep centerfield.

Kitrell was the winning pitcher, and McDonough took the loss.

Natchez’s only other hit beside Carroll’s home run came from Duncan Guedon with a single in the fourth.

In the first game of the night, Franklin County used a bases clearing double by Percy Cameron to defeat Columbus.

Ryan Ratcliff took the win for Franklin County.

Action today has Magee playing Philadelphia at Ballew-Bowlin, while Carthage will takes on East Central at Carroll Jones. Both games are at 6 p.m.

East Central received a first round bye. Cleveland gets the bye today.

The 8 p.m. games will be Natchez versus Columbus on Ballew-Bowlin Field, and Franklin County will tangle with Hattiesburg at Carroll-Jones Field.