Defense lifts Natchez High School in battle of Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 11, 2001

In the battle of the Bulldogs, Natchez High got a home run from Floyd Newman and great defensive play from the infield in a 10-4 win over Franklin County Saturday at Chester Willis Field.

Brock Barlow was the winning pitcher for Natchez (4-1), giving up three earned runs on six hits while striking out two and walking one in six innings.

Lance Harveston came on in relief in the seventh inning and allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one for the save.

&uot;We played well. We played a good defensive game,&uot; said Natchez head coach Michael Lindsey. &uot;Brock pitched well.&uot;

Natchez scored first in the first when Barlow reached on an error and courtesy runner Michael Williams went to second on a Leon Stewart single, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Nolan Coward ground ball out.

Newman made it 2-0 in favor of Natchez with his two-out solo shot to left field that stayed just inside the foul pole.

&uot;He (Franklin County pitcher Colby Beach) threw a curve at me and I just hit it,&uot; Newman said. &uot;It felt good.&uot;

After walking Bert Smith to start the top of the third inning, Barlow got Dewayne Mitchell to hit into a 1-6-3 double play.

&uot;It wasn’t me. It was the defense,&uot; Barlow said. &uot;I probably have the best defense in the state behind me.&uot;

After Natchez increased its lead to 4-0 after three innings, Franklin County (4-3) cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth inning on a Beach single and a fielder’s choice by Derek Buckles.

But the homestanding Bulldogs’ defense ended that rally when David Reid hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Natchez answered with a pair of runs off two Franklin County errors in the bottom of the fourth for a 6-2 lead.

Franklin County, however, wouldn’t go away quietly, as Kyle Trout reached first on an error and Cole Zumbro homered to left-centerfield in the top of the sixth to cut Natchez’s lead to 6-4.

Natchez then put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, two on errors, one on a RBI single by Stewart and the other on a Brian Kossum sacrifice fly.

&uot;Every time they scored a couple of runs, we would answer back,&uot; Lindsey said. &uot;That showed a lot of character.&uot;

Beach was the losing pitcher for Franklin County, giving up five earned runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking two in six innings.

Natchez and Franklin County will both be playing in next week’s McComb Tournament.

Franklin County will play Cathedral at 1 p.m. and Warren Central at 4 p.m. Monday.

Natchez will play Lawrence County at 1 p.m. and host McComb at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

In the junior varsity game, Natchez defeated Franklin County 4-1.