T.M. Jennings 9 and 10s win district championship Saturday
NATCHEZ — It was literally a wild night for the T.M. Jennings 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars Saturday night.
Natchez took advantage of a handful of wild pitches and passed balls en route to a 14-4 win over Laurel, winning the first two games in a best-of-three matchup.
The win gave the Natchez 9 and 10s the District 1 championship, and they will travel to the Gulf Coast July 23 for the Little League state tournament. Natchez 9 and 10s coach Thomas Dunbar said the district championship was a “really good thing” for his players.
“They put in a lot of practice and a lot of time into this. This is the first time for us to win our district, so I know it feels good to them,” Dunbar said.
“We’re going to try and keep it going if we can. After all the sweat and time we put into this, I knew we could do it (tonight).”
With a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, an errant throw by the Laurel catcher allowed Ernest Woods to score. In the top of the third, Shavoke Herrington hit an inside-the-park home run, and Jakarious Caston came home after an errant throw to third, making it 5-0 Natchez.
Laurel struck back in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two runs on wild pitches. In the top of the fourth, Woods scored when the Laurel shortstop missed a popup by Christian Williams.
In the top of the fifth, Tyler Connor scored from third on an errant throw by the Laurel catcher. Three more Natchez runs scored, all on wild pitches, making it 10-2 after five innings.
Natchez added four more runs in the top of the sixth. Willie Johnson hit an inside-the-park home run, scoring Herrington, and Chris Scott belted a single that scored Caston. Caston later scored on a passed ball, making it 14-2 Natchez.
In the bottom of the sixth, Laurel added two more runs before Natchez closed the door.
Natchez 15, Hattiesburg 5
NATCHEZ — The Natchez T.M. Jennings 11-12-year-old All-Stars got off to a good start at the district tournament by soundly defeating Hattiesburg 15-5 in five innings Saturday morning.
The 11-12-year-old district tournament is taking place at the T.M. Jennings field near Frazier Primary School.
Natchez had six extra-base hits in the game, including a two-run home run by Lamarcus Singleton in the bottom of the fifth inning that enabled the host team to win the game via the 10-run rule.
“We hit the ball pretty well. A lot of walks in that game. There were some errors,” Natchez coach Deselle Davis said. “Overall, we hit pretty well.”
Travez Lyles had a triple while Gerald Wiley, Donte’ Hawkins, Jadarrius Ivory and Daryl Hurts Jr. each had a double.
Natchez also got an outstanding pitching performance from Tavarez Letcher, who gave up just two runs in four innings to pick up the win. Hattiesburg did score three runs off Ivory in the top of the fifth before Natchez ended the game early.
“Letcher pitched a great game,” Davis said. “Defensively, we played well. We only made one or two errors.”
Natchez will take on the winner of the Laurel-Hattiesburg game today at 9 a.m.