Natchez All-Stars set to begin district tournament

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Dixie Youth 9-year-old All-Stars are making the most of their time.

Although they’ve only had a little more than a week to practice, 9-year-olds head coach David Lindsey said he’s been pleased with what he’s seen from the team so far.

“We have some kids that can hit the ball well. It’s a little tougher on us, not having more than a week of practice, but I’ve seen most of these boys play during the regular season,” Lindsey said.

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“Myself and the other coaches know what they can and can’t do. We have so many kids that can play specialized positions, sometimes it’s hard to put them somewhere that someone else isn’t playing.”

And even though they haven’t had as long to play with each other, Lindsey said his players were jelling pretty well.

“I’ve noted that when they’re in the dugout, they all get along. They all cheer for the team, and it doesn’t take long for them to get used to each other, because they’ve been playing baseball with each other for three to four years now,” he said.

At 8 tonight, the 9-year-old All-Stars will host the Copiah County All-Stars.

“I don’t know much about them, but I hear they have a pretty scrappy defense,” Lindsey said.

“I don’t know much about their pitching and hitting, though. That’s where we’re struggling right now, pitching. Usually in the 9- and 10-year-old league, it’s the 10-year-olds that are the ones pitching, so now we’re paying for it, but we have several that can throw the ball decently.”

The 9 and 10-year olds played together in league play, but are separated for the All-Star teams.

The 10-year-old All-Stars, meanwhile, don’t play until 4:30 p.m. June 28 against Lincoln County American Team at Franklin County. Although 10-year-olds coach Josh Hargon said his team needed to hit better, he’s pleased with their practices so far.

“Our pitching’s been solid, so hitting is going to be the key. We have to hit consistently one through 12,” Hargon said.

“Everyone’s been giving their best effort for sure, we just have to work on hitting, and we have one more week to get it together hopefully.”

And that extra week of practice makes a huge difference, he said.

“Last year we only had one week, and it just wasn’t really enough time to get practices and practice games in. Some of the kids are missing practice because they’re taking small vacations, so when you have two weeks, it’s not as bad,” Hargon said.