12s fall in opener
Published 7:01 pm Friday, July 22, 2011
HATTIESBURG — The Natchez 12-year-old All-Stars were just two outs away from advancing to the winner’s bracket at the 2011 Mississippi Majors South Regional Tournament.
But the Petal Nationals had other ideas. With two runners on base, L. Holmes hit a home run off Christian Day to give Petal a dramatic 7-5, come-from-behind, win in the first-round game Friday afternoon at the Larry Doleac Youth Park and Tatum Complex.
“We definitely didn’t play our best. I believe the best team didn’t win, but that’s baseball,” Natchez 12s coach Gary Farmer said. “We kept them in the game with errors and mental mistakes. Most of the time you do that, it comes back to haunt you.”
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Even though Natchez took an early lead and kept trading the lead with the Petal Nationals for most of the game, Farmer said his team came out flat and just went through the motions.
“It didn’t look like we were up for the game. Petal had a good team that was well-coached,” Farmer added. “We made a couple of errors to keep them in the ball game.”
Cooper Murray hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning for Natchez, who was the visiting team in the game despite coming into the tournament as the District 6 champion. The Petal Nationals finished second in District 8.
Sam Parker was the starting pitcher for Natchez and went three innings. After that Farmer tried to go with Gabe Smith for one inning, but that didn’t turn out too well.
“He didn’t have his best stuff. Christian Day pitched the final part of the game,” Farmer said. “Other than that one pitch, he pitched a fine three innings.”
Day ended up going two and one-third innings after giving up the game-ending home run and was charged with the loss. Cole Mosby added a double for the Natchez 12s.
Natchez will take on Moss Point in an elimination game today at 9 a.m. The game can be heard on 97.3 FM. The game was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but all of today’s games were rescheduled for earlier times because of the threat of rain this afternoon.