Lindsey’s Bulldogs win another wild one

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2001

For the second time in as many days the Natchez Bulldogs won a wild baseball game in the final inning. On Monday it was a 14-13 thriller over Vidalia, on Tuesday the victim was Jim Hill on the short end of an 18-17 score.

The Bulldogs trailed 17-10 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Natchez used big hits by Leon Stewart, Nolan Coward, Carl Hayes and Floyd Newman along with a host of Tiger errors to score eight runs for the come-from-behind win.

&uot;We didn’t come mentally ready to play tonight,&uot; Natchez head coach Michael Lindsey said. &uot;But we didn’t give up. It would have been easier for us to put our heads down and quit than to win this game. I wasn’t pleased with the way we played, but I am very pleased the kids never quit.&uot;

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The two teams battled back and forth for most of the first four innings. But with the score tied at 7 heading into the top of the fifth the wheels came off for the Bulldogs.

Jim Hill scored six runs in the inning on just four hits to take a big 13-7 lead. The big hit was a base-clearing triple by Tiger pitcher Trae Rouser.

More damaging than anything the Tigers did with the bat was five big errors on the Bulldog fielders.

&uot;I can’t explain what happened in that inning,&uot; Lindsey said. &uot;But you can’t make five errors in one inning and expect to win many baseball games.&uot;

Natchez got three of the runs back in the bottom half of the fifth. Coward led off with a single, and back-to-back free passes to Marques Kind and Newman loaded the bases with no outs. Sacrifice grounders by Stewart and Calvin Jackson trimmed the Tigers’ advantage to 13-9, and a RBI triple by Brock Barlow brought the Bulldogs to within three with two innings left to play.

Jim Hill added an insurance run in the top of the sixth and three more in the top of the seventh to take a 17-10 lead and set the stage for the Bulldogs’ come-from-behind win.

Up next for Natchez is a home game on Friday against Vicksburg at Chester Willis Field at 7 p.m.

Playoff pairings have been announced and the Bulldogs open the first round of the playoffs at Pascagoula at 6 p.m. on April 19.

The second game of the three-game series will be held at Chester Willis Field on April 21. The third game, if necessary will be on April 23 in Pascagoula.