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.

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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.