Win keeps Natchez in contention

Published 12:52 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — Just a week ago after a home loss to Terry, it appeared that Natchez High was on the outside looking in as far being in the playoff picture in Division 6-5A.

But after an impressive 10-5 win over Jim Hill Tuesday afternoon at Chester Willis Field in which three pitchers combined on a four-hitter, the Bulldogs are still in contention for second place in the division standings.

Giovanni Dent was the starting pitcher for Natchez High (6-8, 3-3) and he had a solid outing on the mound in four innings as he gave up three runs on just three hits, struck out six and walked two. Javon Washington came on in relief and allowed one run in two innings and Thomas Hughes allowed one run and assisted on a pickoff play at second base in the top of the seventh inning for the final out of the game.

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“I’ve been satisfied with the pitching all season. Tonight, we played one of the best games we have all season as far as defense and hitting,” Natchez High head coach Charlie Williams said.

The Bulldogs collected eight hits in the game, including a solo home run by Washington in the bottom of the fourth inning and a two-run homer by Kendall Logan during a five-run fifth inning that gave them a commanding 9-3 lead. Logan also had a double and went 2-for-3 and Washington was 2-for-4.

“We seem like we are playing our best ball at the right time,” Williams said. “I’m very, very proud of the kids.”

Monterey 3, Kilbourne 2

MONTEREY — The Monterey Wolves overcame a possible season-ending injury to Billy Metcalf with big plays from Brian Calkins and Austin Lipsey to rally for a big win over the Kilbourne Hawks Tuesday afternoon in a key District 3-B game.

Calkins hit a double to score Ross Lipsey for the game-tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Then in the bottom of the eight, Lipsey induced a bases-loaded walk by Kirby to bring in Chance Cooper for the game-winning run.

Monterey head coach Eric Richard felt like his team was fortunate to win the game after his team played flat after Metcalf went down early in the game after being hit by a pitch in the face. And more specifically, Metcalf may have some fractures to his eye socket.

“It’s a big loss for us, but someone’s going to have to step up,” Richard said. As for the game itself, he added, “I thought Kilbourne played extremely well. They probably outplayed us, but we won the game. We just can’t hit to get the runners in. We just can’t put hits together for big innings. We were able to fight this one out, but it may cost us in some games. It’s good to win, especially a district game.”

With the win, Monterey improved to 6-10 overall and 2-1 in district play. Kilbourne fell to 1-2 in district play. The main difference in the outcome was the pitching of Jared Ensminger, who struck out nine, walked just one and scattered seven hits in a complete-game performance.

“Ensminger kept us in the ball game,” Richard said. “He probably pitched his best game of the year. He had great command of his pitches. If he had walked two or three more batters, we would have lost. If he hadn’t been pitching well, we would have been in a bind.”

Despite walking eight batters and striking out five in going the complete game, Kirby limited Monterey to just four hits. The Wolves left 10 men on base, even though Richard thought it was more than that, and left at least one player on in scoring position in every inning.

Calkins was the only multiple hitter for Monterey as he went 2-for-3. Kirby and Stephens each went 2-for-4 for Kilbourne.

WCCA 4, Tensas Academy 0

WOODVILLE — Brandon Simon has been known for his power at the plate this season. But on Tuesday night, he was dominant on the mound as the Rams defeated the Chiefs in an MPSA District 6-A game.

Simon went the distance for WCCA (14-6, 5-1) and pitched a one-hit shutout while striking out six and walking just one batter. For four and a half innings, Simon and Austin Emfinger had a pitchers’ duel going.

Then in the bottom of the fifth, the Rams finally got to Emfinger with a couple of big hits. With the bases loaded, Brennan Bush came through in the clutch with a three-run triple. Corey Havard added an RBI single to give Simon the run support he needed.

Cathedral 14, West Lincoln 2

BROOKHAVEN — Once Cathedral jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, West Lincoln had no chance of getting back in this Region 8-1A game Tuesday night – especially with the Green Wave’s Preston Edwards on the mound.

The Green Wave pounded out 18 hits in the five-inning contest, but oddly enough none of them left the park. But they got doubles from Braxton Fondren, Jesse Morrison, Caleb Johnson, Hunter Foster and Dylan White.

By the time the Bears scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth inning, they were already trailing 13-0. In addition to its four-run first inning, Cathedral (12-2, 7-0) scored two runs in the top of the second, three in the top of the third, four in the top of the fourth and one in the top of the fifth.

Foster led the Green Wave’s offense by going 4-for-4 and Edwards was 2-for-2. Two of West Lincoln’s four hits went for doubles – one by Magee and the other by Rushing.

North Pike-Franklin County game postponed

BUDE — A severe thunderstorm forced the Region 7-3A game between the Jaguars and the Bulldogs to be postponed until Thursday at 6 p.m. North Pike went 3-up, 3-down in the top of the first inning.

But before Franklin County could start its half of the first inning, it started lightning and the sirens went off. Bulldogs head coach Jeremy Loy said he was hoping to restart the game, but the weather got worse and the game was called.

Oak Forest-Centreville doubleheader rained out

CENTREVILLE — The MPSA District 5-AA varsity doubleheader between Oak Forest and Centreville has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions caused by heavy rain Tuesday afternoon.

Centreville head coach Jason Horne said the doubleheader between the Yellow Jackets and the Tigers will be played either on Friday or Saturday.