Natchez ties it up, forces Game 3

Published 12:48 am Sunday, July 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — For the first two innings of Game 2 of the Dixie Youth Coach-Pitch District 6 District Championship, things did not look good for the Natchez All-Stars after falling behind 2-0.

Then Natchez’s bats woke up in the bottom of the third inning and the home team scored seven runs on seven hits and held on for a 9-5 win over the Copiah All-Stars to tie the series at one game apiece.

Copiah led off the game with two runs on three hits. Connor Chapin and Brandt Jones singled and both scored on a double by Dylan Torrence. Then after the second inning, Natchez head coach Gary Farmer gave his All-Stars advice that worked quite well.

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“I sat them down and told them to relax and play like Natchez,” Farmer said. “I think the slow starts have been nerves. It took a lot of hearts and nerves to come back and play like champions they are.”

Jack Dukes and Reed White hit back-to-back singles to start the rally for Natchez in the bottom of the third inning. Jace Calcote reached first on a fielder’s choice to load the bases.

Jacob Jenkins brought in Dukes with an RBI groundout and Lee Ford Jr. tied the game at 2-2 with a single that scored White. Then Daniel Garrity laid down a perfect bunt single that scored Calcote to give Natchez the lead for good at 3-2.

“That bunt single that Daniel Garrity hit sparked the team,” Farmer said. “That was clutch.”

Craig Bradley then doubled to score Garrity and Christian Day. That was the first of back-to-back-to-back doubles, all of which brought in runs. After Bradley’s two-run double, Dalvion Jackson and Gage Dossett hit consecutive RBI doubles that extended Natchez’s lead to 7-2.

But Copiah would not go away easy as they got back in the game with three runs in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single by Austin Ragland and a two-run single by Colton Meadows.

However, any thoughts of a comeback win by Copiah ended with key hits by Natchez in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings and the defense of shortstop Bradley.

In the bottom of the fourth, Dukes led off with a double, went to third on a single by White and scored when Calcote hit into a double play. Then in the top of the fifth, Landon Murphy hit what he thought was going to be a base hit, only to see Bradley make a sensational diving catch in shallow left field for the first out.

In the bottom of the fifth, Day singled with one out and later scored on a two-out single by Jackson. Then in the top of the sixth, Bradley had a hand in the final two outs to end the game.

Natchez then won the coin toss and will host the third and deciding game at Sprague-Gousset Field Monday at 6:30 p.m.

“We need the Natchez fans to come out,” Farmer said.