Bad weather break gives Natchez Confederate All-Stars what they need

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 2, 2001

A suspension in play on Saturday proved to be beneficial to the Natchez Confederate League All-Stars Sunday against the Claiborne County All-Stars at Ballew-Bowlin Field.

Leading only 4-3 with one on and one out in the top of the third inning when play was halted by bad weather Saturday, the Natchez Confederate All-Stars scored five runs in that very same half-inning, en route to a 14-7 win in the loser’s bracket game.

In the winner’s bracket game, the Franklin County All-Stars defeated the Natchez Rebel League All-Stars 13-3 in five innings to stay undefeated in the tournament.

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Both games could have been called WalkFest 2001 as in the first game the Natchez Confederate and Claiborne County pitchers combined for 23 walks, 13 alone by Claiborne County. In the second game three Natchez Rebel pitchers combined for 18 walks.

In the first game, the Natchez Confederate coaching staff made a key pitching change by putting in the Dollar brothers, Colin and Eric, in relief.

&uot;The pitchers did a good job throwing strikes,&uot; said Natchez Confederate coach Duke Edwards. &uot;Eric did a good job pitching.&uot;

The pitchers combined on a two-hitter, and Colin and Eric Dollar walked a combined three batters in the final four innings.

&uot;We cut our walks down today and that made the difference,&uot; Edwards said.

The Natchez Confederate team seemed to have the game in control with a 10-4 lead after three and a half innings, but four defensive errors led to three Claiborne County runs in the bottom of the fourth to cut its deficit to three runs.

&uot;Too many errors,&uot; said Edwards, whose team committed eight errors in the game.

That would be as close as Claiborne County would get as the Natchez Confederate team scored one run in the fifth and three in the sixth to stay alive in the tournament.

In the winner’s bracket game, the Franklin County team jumped on Natchez Rebel starting pitcher Chas Moroney early as its first six batters reached based and then scored, chasing Moroney from the mound without getting an out.

&uot;They played pretty good today,&uot; said Franklin County coach Kirt Magee.

Franklin County pitcher Colton Laird had a solid performance on the mound, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five in five innings.

He also went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.

&uot;Our pitcher pitched good today,&uot; Magee said.

The Natchez Rebel All-Star team had its share of chances to score, but left two runners stranded in the second inning and the bases loaded in the third inning.

The Natchez Confederate All-Stars will play the Natchez Rebel All-Stars at 7 p.m. today at Ballew-Bowlin Field with the winner playing Franklin County at 6 p.m. and a second game, if necessary, at 7:30 p.m.