World Series bound: Natchez 6’s cruise

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NATCHEZ — After 10-run ruling one of the multiple teams they faced en route to claiming a Dixie Youth World Series berth, the Natchez 6-and-under All-Star team observed their opponents receiving medals in befuddlement.

Because their opponent didn’t seed high enough to earn a spot in the World Series in Hattiesburg Thursday, their run had ended, while Natchez 5- and 6-year-olds kept playing.

“It’s funny because you never know what a group of 5- and 6-year-olds are really thinking,” coach Brandon Atkins said. “The kids couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting medals. They kept asking, ‘Why don’t we get medals?’ I told them, ‘You’ve got to win it all to get one.’”

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As the journey continues for the 6-and-under all-stars, winning it all becomes more and more believable after running through the state tournament with large-margin wins. Unfortunately, rain cancelled a state championship possibility Sunday, as an encounter with St. Martin was delayed for three hours after one inning played. Natchez held a 3-2 lead before the postponement.

The game will resume Thursday after opening ceremonies to determine the top seed in a 10-team tournament, featuring teams from Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. In a tournament of such magnitude, Atkins is hopeful his team will continue to play ball like they have been, which has made them a threat on the diamond.

“I don’t know if we were expected to be the favorites going in, but being the only team to go undefeated through pool play made teams take notice,” Atkins said. “Our kids showed up to play.”