Lincoln takes two

Published 12:16 am Friday, July 1, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Natchez’s Josh Day tries to get back to second base during a game against Lincoln County Thursday afternoon at Duncan Park.

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Dixie Youth 11-year-old team came into Thursday night’s action needing just one win to take the North Sub-District Tournament.

The Lincoln County American League team had other ideas, however, and they came to Natchez and took two straight nail-biters to win the tournament at Duncan Park.

After forcing a deciding game with a one-run victory in game one, the Lincoln County team won the title game by a score of 7-6.

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Natchez jumped on Lincoln with five runs in the first inning, but Lincoln chipped away to make it a ball game, Natchez assistant coach Josh Hargon said.

“(Our guys) did not let the first game affect them, they bounced back and showed heart,” Hargon said.

Natchez took a one-run lead into the sixth inning, but Lincoln loaded the bases with two outs and Parker Flowers grounded a ball through the middle scoring the tying and winning runs, Hargon said.

“The play at the plate was really close, it was bam-bam, but their kid got there one step ahead,” Hargon said.

Dillon Griffin also had a big hit for Lincoln County in the fourth inning with a three-run home run. Luke Burns and Tucker Lambert added doubles for the Lincoln Americans.

Not only did Flowers drive in the winning run, he got the win for the Lincoln Americans.

Joe Adams led the way offensively for Natchez. He went 2-for-3 with two doubles. Rudy Nugent and D.A. Washington added doubles of their own. Josh Day hit a triple for Natchez but also took the loss on the mound.

Hargon said his players took the loss hard.

“It was about as bad as it can get, it was rough,” he said. “They knew we should have had it.”

He said the Lincoln players just would not quit.

“They just never died, we jumped up on them and they chipped away every inning.”

Natchez had their chance to win the title, even before the late inning heroics of Flowers in the second game, but lost a lead in game one as well.

Natchez built a 3-1 lead in the first game, but the Lincoln American team scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead. The Lincoln Americans would take on two insurance runs in the sixth and hold off a Natchez rally to win 6-5 and force a second game.

Natchez pitcher Marshal Edmonds was very effective the first four innings, but he ran into some control issues in the fifth. Edmonds walked four batters, two of them driving in runs and would eventually take the loss.

The Lincoln Americans took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth when Natchez made one last effort to take the sub-district title in game one.

Josh Day walked to leadoff the sixth. Dre Melton followed with a single to put runners on first and second. Aggressive base running by the two players brought Natchez within one run when both players scored on the same pass ball.

Lincoln pitcher Parker Flowers settled down after that and got Dee Batieste to strike out swinging to end the game.

Cole Switzer led Natchez offensively. He went 2-for-2 with a double.

Dillon Griffin doubled twice for Lincoln and Taylor Freeny added a double of his own.

Lincoln County advances to the South District tournament with the win.