NHS drops key game to Rebels

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Vance Avalon’s two-run single in the top of the sixth inning proved to be the difference as the Forest Hill Rebels took sole possession of first place in Division 6-5A with a 3-1 win over the Natchez Bulldogs Tuesday night at Chester Willis Field.

Forest Hill improved to 10-4 overall, 2-0 in district play while Natchez dropped to 6-3 overall, 1-1 in district play.

Winning pitcher Joey Dearman allowed no earned runs and gave up only three hits – none after the third inning – walked four and struck out four in seven innings.

Natchez pitcher Brian Kossum also went the distance, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while striking out 10 and walking three, but had to settle for the loss.

&uot;Joey’s just a battler,&uot; said Forest Hill head coach Tommy Groves. &uot;He’s not overpowering, but he’s got a little gimmick when he drops down on the side. I can say the same about Brian. He’s a battler.&uot;

Both teams had several chances to score in the early innings.

Natchez had runners at second and third with two outs, but Dearman got Marques Kinds to hit a ground ball to second baseman Landry Holloway, who tagged out Nolan Coward at second base. Holloway hit a one-out triple in the top of the third inning. After Rapheal Ward flied out to right fielder Carl Hayes, Hayes fired a throw to catcher Brock Barlow, who tagged out Holloway at home to keep the game scoreless.

&uot;Carl’s been playing well defensively,&uot; said Natchez head coach Michael Lindsey.

Barlow got on first after being hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the third and scored when Dearman balked. Natchez could have taken a 2-0 lead, but Coward was thrown out at home by first baseman Mitchell Taylor.