Natchez 12-year-olds rally past Columbia, 6-3

Published 12:17 am Monday, July 19, 2010

MAGEE — After allowing three runs in the bottom of the first inning, Christopher White pitched five straight scoreless innings. Yet the Natchez Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Stars had been held scoreless for the first three innings.

Skeeter Myles then hit a solo home run off Columbia’s second pitcher of the game in the top of the fourth inning and Natchez scored five runs in the final two innings off Blake Bloom to rally for a 6-3 win Sunday afternoon in an elimination game at the South Regional Tournament.

“We weren’t playing good baseball the first three innings. Other than the first inning, which they (Columbia) scored the three runs, that’s probably the best I’ve seen Christopher throw,” Natchez coach Terry Moffett said.

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White allowed three runs on five hits, struck out six, walked two and hit one batter in a complete-game performance.

Moffett added that perhaps the Natchez 12s were still somewhat down after a 4-1 loss to Wesson that knocked them down to the losers’ bracket. He also said that Columbia’s starting pitcher did a good job of keeping the hitters off-balanced.

But the momentum started to switch Natchez’s way on Myles’ home run. Then with Bloom on the mound, Natchez’s bats took over in a big way.

“They made a pitching change in the fifth inning. They tried to go 2-2-2,” Moffett said. The third pitcher they brought in, we started off with a hit. Then they hit a batter. Nic Webb came up and got a hit. Luke Thomas drove in two runs.”

Thomas’ 2-run single tied the game at 3-3. Natchez capped off its rally by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning.

“It seems like everybody came together. I told them the mark of a great team is playing through adversity,” Moffett said. “I’m proud of them. It was a big win.”

Myles ended up going 2-for-2 as did Webb and Edwin Byrne went 2-for-3 with a double for Natchez, which had 11 hits in the game. Wiley Cleleand hit a home run and Brandon Cooper had a double to lead Columbia.

The Natchez 12-year-old All-Stars have a bye on Monday and will take on the undefeated team in the winner’s bracket — either Lawrence County, Laurel or Wesson — Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The winner of Sunday night’s Lawrence County-Laurel game will take on Wesson tonight to determine which team goes undefeated in that bracket.