Natchez starts sub-district with win

Published 12:24 am Saturday, July 7, 2007

NATCHEZ — The first day of the 2007 District 6 12-year-old North Sub-District Tournament started a day later because of rain, but that didn’t seem to have any effect on the Natchez All-Stars.

Thanks to a lead-off home run by Andrew Moroney in the first inning, a grand slam home run by Danny Huffines and a no-hitter by Tanner Martin, Natchez rolled to a 16-0 win over Franklin County in three and a half innings Friday night at Carroll-Jones Field.

Natchez will take on the Brookhaven Nationals, a 5-2 winner over Wesson, today at 8 p.m. at Carroll-Jones Field. Copiah, an 8-4 winner over the Brookhaven Americans, awaits the winner of that game Monday at 8 p.m.

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Martin allowed just one batter to reach base and that was on an error by third baseman Tyler Duncan. But Ricky Wilson was picked off at third by catcher Moroney.

“That was excellent. I don’t know if that was his first no-hitter,” Natchez assistant coach Danny Huffines said about his son’s outstanding performance on the mound. “He threw strikes tonight.”

After Martin retired the side in order in the top of the first inning, Moroney took a 2-1 pitch from Franklin County pitcher Trent Auld over the fence in left centerfield and just like that Natchez had a 1-0 lead.

Natchez scored three more runs in the bottom of the first on singles by Huffines, Christopher Perry and Tyler Duncan, an error and a walk.

“It felt pretty great to hit a solo home run to start off sub-district,” Moroney said. “I was just waiting for a strike. Just felt great.”

Natchez added two more runs in the bottom of the second. Colton Farmer hit a one-out single, went to second on a passed ball and scored when a fly ball by Moroney went over the head of right fielder Billy Farrell for a triple. Moroney then scored on a single by Huffines, who tried to extend it to a double but was thrown out.

“We came out and hit the ball,” coach Huffines said. “Andrew started it off for us and everyone else followed.”

Natchez then put the game out of reach with 10 runs in the bottom of the third on two hit batsmen, four walks, four errors, singles by Farmer and Moroney, and Huffines’s grand slam home run on a 2-2 count and two outs.

“I was looking for the curveball. I got it and put the bat on the ball and was lucky it got out,” Daniel Huffines said. “All year I hit six solo home runs. I was glad to see runners on base. I was so happy.”

Martin then struck out the final two batters to end the game. He ended up striking out six batters of the 12 he faced.