Coach pitch all-stars drop opening game of sub-district play

Published 12:03 am Friday, June 22, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Joseph Garrity, right, congratulates teammate Mason Wells, left, after they both scored runs late in Thursday’s Coach Pitch All-Star game against the Lincoln County Americans. Natchez fell to Lincoln County, 13-9.

NATCHEZ — Even though winning was almost impossible at that point, Geoff Flattmann wanted to see if his team had a little bit of fight in them.

And after his team made some noise in the top of the sixth, the Natchez Dixie Youth 7- and 8-year-old coach pitch All-Star coach said he liked what he saw.

Despite being on the short end of a 13-9 game against the Lincoln Americans, the Natchez 7s and 8s almost had to settle for a 13-5 loss in the sub-district tournament after some confusion on the field.

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In coach pitch, teams can only score seven runs an inning, but it could take as many as 10 batters to score those seven runs. With the Natchez 7s and 8s trailing 13-5 at the top of the sixth, the umpires signaled to call the game, saying it was mathematically impossible for Natchez to win with the game only lasting six innings.

But Flattmann argued that if the 10th batter hit a grand slam, it would put his team ahead 15-13. Since Dixie Youth rules would allow all runners to score in that instance, Flattmann said it wasn’t quite impossible to come back — though highly unlikely.

“I wanted to extend the game and test these kids’ mettle, and they showed me what I thought they would,” Flattmann said. “I was proud of them.”

The 7s and 8s made it 13-6 when Zehlin Cornett scored on a double by Zeke Flattmann. A single by Mason Wells scored Zeke Flattmann, and Braden Goldman knocked a single that sent home Wells and Joseph Garrity. The Lincoln Americans finally recorded the third out to end the game, but Geoff Flattmann said his team impressed him even in defeat.

“For all but two of our players, this is their first time to experience All-Stars,” Geoff Flattmann said. “I think they were a little uptight and nervous, and they played their best in just two of the six innings.

“We scratched our way back there at the end, and I’m happy they got the nerves off their chest. I think they’ll do better (today).”

The Natchez 7s and 8s got off to a fast start in the top of the first, jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead. Paxton Junkin drove in the first run, a single that scored Cornett. Garrity then hit a triple that sent home Junkin and Wells, and Goldman singled in Garrity.

The Lincoln Americans cut the Natchez lead to 4-2 in the bottom half of the frame. Sam Smith singled in Lawson Chemin, and Chase White doubled home Smith.

The Lincoln American took the lead for good with a six-run bottom of the second. A double by Garrett Carlyle scored Parker Whittington, and a fielder’s choice by Jonah Smith tied the game at 4-4.

Conner Hall followed things up with an inside-the-park home run that also sent home Halen Rose. A triple by Chemin scored John Rivers Brown, and a double by Sam Smith sent home Chemin. Landon Banes sent home the Lincoln Americans’ final run of the inning when he singled in Sam Smith.

Natchez made it 9-5 when a Zeke Flattmann single scored Cornett in the top of the third. The Lincoln Americans got the run back in the bottom of the third when a Whittington sacrifice fly scored White.

The Lincoln Americans scored their final runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead. Sam Smith singled in Brown, and a Banes single sent home Chamin and Sam Smith.

The 7s and 8s will play in the loser’s bracket matchup at 7:45 tonight. The tournament is double-elimination.