Natchez 12-year-olds eliminated with 4-3 defeat

Published 12:45 am Thursday, July 2, 2009

WESSON — For the second time in the District 6 Sub-district Tournament, Thomas Garrity had a double-digit strikeout performance for the Natchez 12-year-old All-Star team.

Unfortunately, he also gave up a pair of costly home runs as the host Wesson 12-year-old All-Stars overcame a mid-game rally with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 4-3 win Wednesday afternoon to go undefeated in winning the tournament championship.

With the win, Wesson advance to the South State Tournament, while Natchez saw its season come to a disappointing and sooner-than-expected end.

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Natchez had to defeat Wesson twice to win the title and advance to South State and could have forced a winner-take-all second game had it not been for its own base-running errors.

“We hit the ball pretty good today. But we had runners leaving base too quickly. We left the bases loaded a couple of time. We just did not get it done,” Natchez coach Billy Ray Farmer said.

Garrity struck out 11 batters in five innings and kept Natchez in the game by pitching three straight scoreless innings after giving up a two-run home run to opposing, and winning, pitcher Mack Smith in the bottom of the first inning.

However, Natchez was not able to get enough key hits when it needed them. In the top of the first inning, the visiting team was not able to score and left the bases loaded. An inning later, Christian Jenkins scored on a Jaylon Fleming single to cut Wesson’s lead in half.

Natchez tied the game in the top of the third when Ben Hewitt walked with the bases loaded, but again Smith got out of that jam to keep the score tied at 2-2.

Finally, Natchez was able to take the lead when Jenkins scored on a sacrifice by Fleming in the top of the fourth.

But Farmer was not pleased with the energy level his team displayed throughout the game.

“Even when we were tied, even when we had the lead, they played with no enthusiasm,” he said.

Viarmontez hit a solo home run for Wesson off Garrity to tie the score at 3-3. Then Porter hit a single and went to second on a passed ball. The next batter hit a bloop to no man’s land for a base hit, and Porter scored from second to give Wesson a 4-3 lead.

Any chance for Natchez to at least tie the game in the top of the sixth did not happen as it went 1-2-3 to end the game. The second batter during that stretch tried to extend a single into a double, but was tagged for the second out.