Natchez 11s beat Franklin County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

GLOSTER — Brock Farmer’s grand slam home run ignited a 13-run rally in the top of the fifth inning as the Natchez 11-year-old All-Stars defeated Franklin County 20-7 in five innings Friday night in the first round of the South Sub-district Tournament.

Franklin County jumped out to a 5-1 lead at the end of the first inning and Natchez was having problems hitting both the fastball and off-speed pitch of pitcher Sam Bivens and had just six hits through the first four innings to show for it.

“We did have a rough start. They jumped on us and hit the ball well,” Natchez coach Gary Farmer said.

Farmer added that Natchez would respond to that early deficit by scoring a run here and a run there. Natchez scored two runs in the top of the second, three in the top of the third and one in the top of the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.

Natchez starting pitcher Christian Day allowed five runs on three hits in the first inning. He was relieved by Sam Parker, who kept Natchez in the game by giving up just two runs on five hits. Parker struck out two and walked two.

Those two runs that Franklin County scored off Parker in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at 7-7. However, a game that looked like would come down to the final at-bat turned into a blowout just that quickly.

After Natchez scored one run to take an 8-7 lead. Farmer came up with the bases loaded and launched a grand slam over the fence in centerfield to make it a 12-7 game. Dalvion Jackson added a solo home run of his own to give Natchez a 13-7 lead.

“Brock’s grand slam really fired the kids up. We finally hit the ball like we should,” coach Farmer said. “Parker then went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the fifth and Craig Bradley, our shortstop, made some outstanding defensive plays.”

Seven more players crossed home plate in the top of the fifth inning. Natchez had 12 of its 18 hits in the top of the fifth.

The Natchez 11-year-old All-Stars will take on the winner of the McComb-Pine Hills game in a winners’ bracket game today at 8 p.m.

Lincoln County Americans 24,

Natchez 8s 19

BROOKHAVEN — Down by 14 runs after three and a half innings, it looked for sure that the Natchez 8-year-old All-Stars had no chance of getting back in its game against the Lincoln County Americans Friday night.

But after a pep talk from coach Dan Ratcliff, Natchez answered back in a big way with two big innings. Unfortunately, the Lincoln County Americans scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and held on for a 24-19 win in an elimination game at the district tournament.

“After three innings, our kids ran off the field with their heads down. When they got to the dugout, I told them to put their heads up. Score seven runs. And they did,” Ratcliff said.

Natchez scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 19-12 game. After holding the Lincoln Americans to just one run in the top of the fifth, Natchez scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth and just like that the Lincoln Americans were up by just one run — 20 to 19.

After the Lincoln Americans put up four runs to give them some breathing room, Natchez was unable to put together one more rally and its season was over.

“We made them earn it. That’s a good ball club,” Ratcliff said. “We’re very proud of our kids. I was proud to be a part of this coaching staff. Those kids represented Natchez well. Those 12 guys were true all-stars.”

The Lincoln Americans scored seven runs in the top of the first inning and led Natchez 7-3 after one inning of play. A five-run third inning and another seven-run inning, this time in the top of the fourth, gave them what was at the time a commanding 19-5 lead.

“We had a lot of singles and we made some errors. They got those big runs early. In the first inning, those were seven earned runs,” Ratcliff said.

Bankston Jordan went 3-for-3 with a double while Dylan Troxler, James Singleton and Ben White each went 3-for-4 with a double.