Natchez 7’s finish as state runner-ups

Published 12:03 am Monday, July 13, 2015

CLEVELAND — The 7-year-old Natchez Dixie Youth All-Stars finished as runner ups in the state tournament in Cleveland, going 4-1 in the process.

After defeating McComb 11-3 Sunday afternoon, Natchez punched a ticket to the state tournament finals against Columbia. The results did not go Natchez’s way, falling 13-3 in five innings to Columbia, but head coach Ryan Marchbanks was proud of his team’s efforts.

“We just faced a better baseball team,” Marchbanks said. “They were just really good and had a lot of base hits. It’s hard to defend when the other team is getting a lot of base hits.”

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Marchbanks said it was the first time the Natchez 7’s drew a loss since putting the team together.

“Including practice games against 8-year-old teams, this team went 21-1,” Marchbanks said. “We were undefeated going into the state tournament, and we had a great run.”

Marchbanks said the players were sad to see their undefeated streak come to an end.

“They were a little sad, but once they started handing those trophies out, we started seeing a lot of smiles,” Marchbanks said. “We feel lucky as coaches to have been able to coach such a talented, tight group. We want to thank the fans and Natchez Dixie Youth for all of the support.”

Because there is no world series for 7-year-olds in Mississippi, the Natchez 7’s run has come to an end.

Vidalia Nationals (11- and 12-year-olds) 8, Lake Charles White 2

LAKE CHARLES, La. — After falling to Lake Charles Red 11-1 and going into the loser’s bracket, the 11- and 12-year-old Vidalia Nationals bounced back in a big way, picking up an 8-2 win against Lake Charles White.

Hits, opposing errors and executed throwdowns to second base opened the door for victory, coach Boo Blaney said, as the girls took advantages of several Lake Charles White miscues.

“On defense, we went from making errors to really not making any at all,” Blaney said. “The throwdowns to second base were the turning point. They had a couple hits and got on base, but we were able to throw to second and get them out.”

Becca Cowan was the winning pitcher for the Vidalia Nationals.

With the win, the Nationals advance to play the winner of Blanchard and Evangeline at 6 p.m. tonight.

Blaney said should the Vidalia Nationals emerge victorious, they would play for the championship Tuesday night.