Natchez wins big vs. Wingfield Friday

Published 11:20 pm Friday, April 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — Early in the season, Natchez head baseball coach Charlie Williams said hitting was the biggest concern he had for his team.

Williams was worried that his players weren’t putting enough time into batting practice, and said his team’s hitting might not translate onto the field as a result.

Luckily for Williams, the Bulldogs got some extra batting practice work in Friday night — four innings of it, to be exact. Natchez blew out opponent Wingfield 25-3, a game that lasted only through the top of the fifth, before being called due to the 10-run mercy rule.

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“I was impressed with our hitting tonight, even though he was just throwing good batting practice,” Williams said. “I was pleased with the hitting, especially since that’s been our area of concern.”

The Bulldogs jumped on Wingfield early, scoring six runs in the first inning and adding eight more in the second inning. But things would only get worse for Wingfield from there.

After the Falcons scored three runs off Natchez starter Dominic Salter in the top of the third, the Bulldogs answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame.

After holding the Falcons scoreless in the top of the fourth, the dam broke on Wingfield once again, as the Bulldogs tacked on nine more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 9-10 on the season, 5-3 in district play. Williams said his team’s improved hitting is coming at a crucial time in the season.

“Our hitting has gotten better in general, not just because we hit them, but it’s been good the last few weeks,” Williams said. “Overall, we’re hitting better than we did at the beginning of the year.

“It’s getting down to crunch time now, and we have to find some guys who are going to throw strikes consistently. We also have to cut down on the errors.”

With the comfortable lead, Williams said he was happy he got to use two young players in the final two frames.

“We saw two seventh graders, Quinton Logan and Trey Fleming, and they both pitched an inning of shutout ball,” Williams said. “Fleming came in the fourth and struck out three batters, and Logan closed the door for us in the fifth.”

Williams was also pleased with Salter’s performance starting, he said.

“He started off strong, and had a little movement on his fastball,” Williams said. “That’s all he has really, a two-seamer and a four-seamer. He doesn’t throw it very hard, which is why it has movement.”