NHS rides momentum into first round

Published 12:27 am Friday, April 30, 2010

NATCHEZ — If momentum has anything to do with it, the Natchez High Bulldogs should feel pretty good about this weekend’s Class 6A first round playoff series against Ocean Springs.

The Bulldogs (11-11) ended the regular season on a high note, sweeping a doubleheader last Saturday, which included a dramatic 4-3 victory over cross-town rival Cathedral.

Natchez coach Charlie Williams hopes his team can ride that momentum as they begin the playoffs at 6 p.m. today at Ocean Springs.

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“I’m very pleased with the way we played not only that Saturday, but also last Tuesday in the (6-4) loss to Franklin County,” Williams said. “I’m very pleased with the performance of all our players.”

The biggest key to Natchez’s late-season surge was the renewed commitment to defense, Williams said.

“The most important thing is that we cut down on our errors,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re going to be competitive. If we can cut down on errors we’ll be in decent shape this weekend.”

The Bulldogs finished in second place in Division 6-6A behind Terry, and will take on the Greyhounds, the champion of Division 7 in a three-game series.

Game 2 of the series will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at Chester Willis Field, weather permitting.

Williams said he doesn’t know a lot about Ocean Springs, but from what he has heard, they appear beatable.

“According to one coach I talked to, Ocean Springs is not as strong as they normally are in the playoffs,” Williams said. “They have better than average pitching according to him. If that’s the case, we’re going to be in decent shape as far as being able to hit.”

While hitting might be a bit of a concern, pitching doesn’t give Williams a lot of worries because he has junior ace Javon Washington on the mound tonight.

“When Javon pitches well we have a good chance of beating anybody,” Williams said. “He has matured a lot since last year as far as being a pitcher. I think he can be a Division I pitcher myself. He always throws a lot of strikes. If we can make the plays behind him, we believe we can play with anybody.”