11s get comeback win in All-Star opener

Published 12:42 am Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ben Hillyer/The Natchez Democrat — Dee Batieste is congratulated Monday evening after scoring the first run for Natchez in their 7-5 win over the Franklin County All-Stars. aaaaaa

Natchez — The Natchez Dixie Youth All-Star 11-year-old team overcame a slow start Monday night to get a big win over Franklin County in game one of the sub-district tournament at Duncan Park.

A five-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth inning helped Natchez overcome a 3-1 deficit. They would go on to win 7-5.

“We were down and it wasn’t looking very good,” assistant coach Josh Hargon said. “Josh Day got a triple and then scored on a pass ball. That triple got us going and ignited the rest of the team. The hits just got contagious after that.”

Email newsletter signup

Day’s three-bagger was followed by doubles from Dre Melton and Marshal Edmonds. Andrew Porter and Joe Adams would also single in the inning.

Not only did Day get the hit that sparked the Natchez rally, he was the winning pitcher as well. He came in to relieve Edmonds in the fourth and went three innings, giving up two runs.

“Josh Day has been struggling a little bit in practice, but he came out tonight and was throwing good,” Hargon said.

Winning game one of the double-elimination tournament was critical for the Natchez Dixie Youth squad, Hargon said.

“You don’t want to go to the losers’ bracket,” he said. “You know you have to win game one.”

Natchez gave up two early runs in the first inning when Franklin County’s J.J. Starks and Chase Freeman reached to start the game and scored on an error and a pass ball.

Natchez answered in the bottom of the second when Rudy Nugent singled to drive in Dee Batieste.

Franklin County scored a run of its own in the top of the third to regain its two-run lead, before Natchez’s big fourth inning.

Natchez added an insurance run in the fifth when Cole Switzer doubled to score Christopher Scott. But Franklin County made things interesting in the top of the sixth by scoring two runs on a single by Gabe Nations. After that Day was able to secure the final out and the victory for Natchez.

Natchez will face Lincoln County American League at 7:30 p.m. today.

“It was a nice comeback, but the effort wasn’t really there most of the game, and we told them that,” Hargon said. “We got by just on skill. If we play with effort and skill we can do well in the tournament.”