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Natchez 11s eliminated by Hattiesburg, 12s defeat Lawrence County

MAGEE — Two rundown errors by the Natchez 11-year-old All-Stars proved costly in a 4-2 loss to Hattiesburg in the Dixie Youth South State tournament Tuesday.

The loss eliminates the 11s from the tournament, and head coach Gary Farmer said the loss was a tough pill to swallow.

“We have a great bunch of kids and parents. The team’s been together a long time, and it’s been three years since we won a state championship,” Farmer said.

“It’s a change, and a change we don’t like. We worked hard, but sometimes it doesn’t go your way in baseball.”

Hattiesburg’s Matthew Gullardo got the win, while Natchez’s Sam Parker took the loss.

“We came out in the top of the first inning fired up, and we stroked the ball and scored two runs,” Farmer said.

“The problem is, we should have scored a lot more runs. We had more baserunners left on at the end of the first than we drove in.

“We didn’t score the rest of the game. We got a couple more hits, but couldn’t score any of them. Gullardo pitched a great game the rest of the way, and Parker pitched well enough to win. Two of their runs scored on rundown errors, and a 2-0 score became 2-2 in the third.”

And Farmer said his team couldn’t afford to make the mistakes it did in the field.

“Our defense let us down a little bit behind great pitching from Sam. When you play that caliber of team, and it’s one we matched up well against, it’s the one that makes the least mistakes that will win. Tonight, it was Hattiesburg,” Farmer said.

Even with the loss, Farmer said he was proud of his players, and expects them to work just as hard next year in order to try and get to the Dixie Youth World Series.

“They kept their heads up, even in a loss. That’s the mark of a true champion. I didn’t see a head down or a tear in their eyes. I was proud of them tonight,” he said.

Natchez 12s 5,

Lawrence County 2

The Natchez 12-year-old All-Stars fared much better Tuesday, beating Lawrence County 5-1.

Natchez 12s head coach Terry Moffett could not be reached by The Democrat before press deadline.

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