Forest Hill takes road win over Natchez High for district title

Published 8:37 am Friday, April 6, 2007

The Natchez Bulldogs came up short on senior night, as they lost to Forest Hill 13-2 in five innings of play, and in the process finished second in the district behind the Rebels

“They wanted it more than we did,” Natchez head coach Charlie Williams said. “I never thought we would drop below four hits in a game, but tonight we dropped to three.”

Forest Hill head coach Jeff Tomorrow said he credits the win to his team hitting the ball well and frequently, as the Rebels scored 13 runs off 13 hits.

Email newsletter signup

“I’ve always said whoever hits the most ground balls usually wins, and tonight our guys hit the most ground balls,” he said.

The Rebels scored at least one run in every inning of play, including a Jonathan McClendon solo home run that landed just beyond the left field wall in the top of the third inning.

Heading into the top of the fifth, the Rebels led the Bulldogs 6-1, with the Bulldogs’ first run coming in the bottom of the fourth inning when Edward Johnson stole home as part of a double steal with Johnny Williams.

But the Rebels put the game away in the top of the fifth inning by scoring seven runs off five hits, including two doubles by Victor Henkel, and two errors by the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs scored one run when Forest Hill’s catcher, McClendon, overthrew second, but Natchez failed to rally beyond that run, and lost by 11.

“The bottom line is we got out-hit,” Williams said.

Along with Forest Hill’s offensive explosion in the bottom of the fifth, Tomorrow said Rebels’ pitcher Jason Johnson was also a big factor. Johnson allowed only three hits and two earned runs.

With the loss, Natchez falls to 12-10 overall and are 6-2 in district play as they prepare to take on Jim Hill on the road Tuesday.

“We have got to get more aggressive at the plate. We are looking at too many strikes and swinging at too many balls,” Williams said.

Tomorrow said he was pleased with his team’s play and winning district. He said he was somewhat surprised at how much his team has achieved since the

Rebels lost 12 seniors after last year’s season.

“This is a whole new team. They have worked hard and have improved,” he said. “Tonight was nice.”

With the win, the Rebels improve to 10-14 overall and improved to 5-1 in district play.