Summit hands Natchez 9s loss in opener

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2005

MCCOMB &045; It was all over in a flash for the Natchez 9-year-old All-Stars Wednesday.

Summit had a five-run fourth inning, helped by three Natchez errors, that propelled it to a 6-3 win in the opening round of the District 6 Tournament in McComb.

&uot;We were kind of surprised,&uot; Summit head coach Steven Brock said. &uot;We weren’t sure how our pitching would hold up here.&uot;

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That Summit pitching, in the form of winning pitcher Carr Young, looked strong, giving up just four hits to Natchez, though three errors in the field that allowed Natchez to score hurt Summit.

Natchez’s inability to score early in the game made its solid defense and pitching inconsequential.

&uot;We took too many called third strikes,&uot; Natchez head coach Bruce Ross said. &uot;We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t get timely hits either.&uot;

Both teams took a number of called third strikes in the game, something Brock attributed the players’ inexperience with live pitching.

&uot;You have to remember these kids are seeing live pitching for the first year,&uot; Brock said. &uot;They’re used to that pitching machine, and it’s hard to judge that big strike zone when someone’s throwing at you. We had four or five that took called third strikes, and that’s just adjusting to the game.&uot;

After three scoreless innings featuring some strong defensive play from both squads, Summit finally got something going offensively in the fourth inning. Nick Cothern singled and moved to second on a passed ball, and Jackson Cole reached on an error to Cothern move to third.

Cothern scored on a ground out by Dustin Brock, and Cole came in when Young reached on an error.

Brock Roberts singled and Ladarious Coney reached on a fielder’s choice when Young was forced out at third. Roberts and Coney both came in when Frank Mathews singled and came in to score on a ball that was misplayed in the outfield.

&uot;They shut us down the first few innings,&uot; Brock said. &uot;That second time around we got lucky and hit a little bit. You have to put the bat on the ball and score to win in this game.&uot;

At the end of the inning, Summit led 5-0 and had taken firm control of the game. Natchez’s three errors in the inning proved very costly.

&uot;A few errors cost us there, but we played pretty good defense for most of the game,&uot; Ross said.

Natchez scored one run in the fifth as Tyler Buckles doubled to left field, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Thomas Garrity reached on an error. Garrity made it to third and would have scored but for a strong defensive play by Summitt pitcher Young on Hunter Lindsay’s line drive up the middle.

Summit added a run in the fifth when Dan Fill singled, moved to second on passed ball and third on a throwing error. He scored on Austin Paulk’s single later in the inning.

Natchez added two more in the sixth. Turner Lessley led off by reaching after being hit by a pitch before Conner Pressgrove walked. Lessley scored on a throwing error, but Pressgrove was tagged out at home trying to score.

Zach Young singled and came home on Chris Guedon’s single.