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Natchez 9s fall in second game of district tourney

NATCHEZ — For the second night in a row, the Natchez Dixie Youth 9-year-old All-Stars played in a game that was called by the 10-run mercy rule.

Only this time, the Natchez 9s were on the wrong end of the final results.

Trailing 12-6 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Lincoln County Nationals 9-year-old All-Stars capped off the game with a four-run walk-off inning to win 16-6. Reliever Dane Smith got the win, while Natchez starter Sterling Yarborough took the loss.

“We didn’t pitch well, we didn’t hit well and we didn’t field the ball well. That about sums it up,” said Natchez 9s coach David Lindsey.

Natchez started off strong in the first inning when Alex McCready singled in Andrew Merriett to give the 9s a 1-0 lead.

The Nationals would regain the lead in the bottom half of the frame, however. Yarborough loaded the bases and walked Keegan Smith to bring Dane Smith in from third. Rials Hester then grounded out to first, scoring Collin Britt. A passed ball allowed two more Nationals runners to score, giving them a 4-1 lead.

The Natchez 9s answered right back in the top of the second. P.J. Hargrave grounded into a fielder’s choice with runners on base, but a throwing error by Nationals third baseman James Beard allowed Ben Foster and Mathew Carey to score.

Sawyer Allen then belted a single that scored Yarborough and Hargrave, and McCready singled in Hunter Carroll to give Natchez a 6-4 lead.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the third inning, when the dam broke for the Natchez 9s. The Nationals scored eight runs in the third to take a 12-6 lead going into the top of the fourth. Natchez was unable to score any more runs off the Nationals’ pitching.

Tyler Lindsey pitched for Natchez in the bottom of the ninth.

“We got hits but couldn’t bring them in, and you can’t win ball games like that, but we’ll be back (tonight) ready to go,” David Lindsey said.

The Natchez 9s will play tonight at 6 against XXX.

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