Natchez defeats Wingfield, but coach not happy with team
NATCHEZ — The scoreboard said Natchez High defeated Wingfield 11-0 on Tuesday evening.
But if you listened to head coach Charlie Williams talk after the game, you would have sworn the Bulldogs had lost.
The outcome was never in any doubt once Natchez scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Williams was unhappy with the lack of hustle and inconsistent hitting that has plagued his team this season.
“(The players) might have been pleased with the win, but I wasn’t,” Williams said. “I didn’t like the hustle. We can’t play down to our competition. We’ve got to stay focused and continue to play hard and do the things that will make us a competitive ball club.”
Natchez scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to several Wingfield errors.
The tone of the game was set when Alfred Banks hit a grounder to the Wingfield shortstop, who threw the ball away at first base.
The first baseman then tried to throw Banks out at second, but made a high throw, which allowed Javon Washington, who was on second base when the play started, to score.
When Wingfield tried to throw Washington out at the plate, Banks broke for third base. The Wingfield catcher threw to third to try and gun down Banks, but threw the ball into left field, allowing Banks to score and making the score 4-0.
Natchez added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. After Banks led off the inning with a triple, Kelli Puckett drove him home with a single to left.
Puckett then stole second and advanced to third on a ground out before Jonathan Hawkins brought him home with a sacrifice fly.
Natchez put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After Natchez loaded the bases with two outs, Scott Turner scored on a passed ball. Puckett drove home two more runs with a double before Derrian Johnson blasted a two-run homer deep over the left field fence, making the score 11-0.
After Wingfield was held scoreless in the top of the fifth, the game was called due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Natchez got a solid pitching performance out of Davion Ward and Turner.
Ward threw the first three innings and Turner the final two. The pair combined to give up just one hit.
But even with the big win, which improved the Bulldogs’ overall record to 5-5 and district record to 1-1, Williams would like to see improvement.
“No matter who we’re playing, I want to be proud when I look out there on the field,” Williams said. “And today I wasn’t proud. We just drug around. It’s going to hurt us if we don’t do the necessary things to win games. We’ve got to be playing our best ball at all times.”
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