Natchez beats Brookhaven in 9-6 nail-biter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; It was a wild night at Duncan Ballpark Thursday when the Natchez All-Stars and the Brookhaven National All-Stars got together for their first-round game in the 10-year-old district playoffs.

Aided by a disastrous bottom half of the fifth inning by Brookhaven, Natchez took a 9-6 win to advance to the winner&8217;s bracket of the tournament.

&8220;We didn&8217;t quit,&8221; said Natchez head coach Bruce Ross. &8220;We didn&8217;t get down. When they got ahead, we could&8217;ve gotten down, but we didn&8217;t.&8221;

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Natchez fell behind on several occasions in a game which featured five lead changes and several close calls.

Natchez opened out of the gate with a run in the bottom of the first when Brandon Ross doubled in Turner Leslie, who reached base on a walk.

Brookhaven answered in the top of the second with one run off a Natchez throwing error that would have ended the inning. Brookhaven then held the home team scoreless in the bottom half of the inning and took the lead in the top of the third when a National runner stole second and third and then scored on a wild pitch.

Chris Guedon brought Natchez back in the bottom of the inning with a base hit. He eventually scored on an error, and Thomas Carey, the very next batter, gave Natchez a 3-2 lead with a RBI single.

The Nationals once again tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Garrett Rehms drove in Brandon Ross and Tyler Buckles with a double to give Natchez its biggest lead of the game at 5-3.

After a three-run fifth by Brookhaven, Thomas Garrett, Turner Janette, Guedon, and Zach Young all scored on a series of walks and errors by Brookhaven to give them the eventual winning margin.

Brandon Ross came on to close out the game in the sixth inning.

Buckles took the win at pitcher for Natchez, while Newt Riley took the loss for Brookhaven.

Brandon Ross and Rehms each had doubles to lead Natchez.

Bruce Ross said the team&8217;s pitching had come through.

&8220;Our pitching was the difference,&8221; he said. &8220;They did a great job on the mound for us. It really kept us in the game. We swung the bat well, too.&8221;

The Natchez All-Stars will face another Brookhaven team tonight at 8 p.m. when they face the Brookhaven Americans in the winner&8217;s bracket at Duncan Park.

Bruce Ross said his team had no choice but to shake off this big win to get ready for tonight.

&8220;We&8217;re going to have to be ready,&8221; he said. &8220;We don&8217;t have any choice but to be.&8221;

The Brookhaven Nationals will face Copiah County at 6 p.m. at Duncan Park.