Natchez 11s take district title with 9-5 win
NATCHEZ — Natchez 11-year-old All-Stars coach Gary Farmer is doing something he doesn’t normally do — giving his players some time off.
But since his team won the Dixie Youth All-Stars District 6 championship, he’s willing to give them some rest.
The Natchez 11s defeated the Lincoln County Nationals 9-5 Wednesday to claim the district championship, and Farmer said his players have earned a few days to recuperate.
“I did give them (today) and Friday off, which is unusual for me, so it’s sort of like giving them a mini vacation. We’ll start back Monday practicing for the South State tournament,” Gary Farmer said.
For the Natchez 11s, winning the district championship accomplished the second of several goals the team set for itself when All-Star play began, Farmer said.
“Our first goal was to get through and win sub-district, and our second goal was to win district,” Gary Farmer said.
“We also wanted to go undefeated in sub-district and district, and we did. Our next goal is to win South State and get to the state tournament.”
The Natchez 11s got on the board early, when Gage Dossett doubled in starter Craig Bradley in the first inning, giving the 11s a 1-0 lead.
The 11s added three more runs in the bottom of the second. Jace Calcote hit a double that knocked in Gabe Smith, and Calcote and Sam Parker were doubled in by Bradley to give the 11s a 4-0 lead after two.
The Lincoln Nationals scored a run in the top of the third on a wild pitch, but the 11s scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Brock Farmer went home on a wild pitch, and Dalvion Jackson knocked in Christian Day at third base on a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the fourth, Parker batted in Calcote with a single, and Parker scored on a double by Bradley, giving the 11s an 8-1 lead.
The final runs scored by the 11s came in the bottom of the fifth, when Brock Farmer scored on a passed ball.
Brock Farmer, who pitched in relief in the top of the fourth, threw two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the sixth. He allowed two batters reach base, prompting Gary Farmer to bring Jacob Jenkins onto the mound to close things out.
Jenkins got one out, but proceeded to give up a grand slam to the Nationals’ Bradyn Brister. He buckled down after that, securing the final two outs and the district championship for the 11s.
“We were a little flat with our hitting today, but we did what it takes to win. Our boys have been working hard, and you can tell,” Gary Farmer said.
“We have a great group of kids and parents, and these kids have played together a long time. I’m very proud of them.”
The 11s will play in Magee July 23 for the South State tournament.