Natchez baseball falls in region final to Brookhaven, 15-5

Published 11:45 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

Brookhaven High School scored five runs in the first inning and held off Natchez, topping the Bulldogs 15-5 in six innings the Region 6-5A final for both squads.

Friday’s game didn’t have anything at stake for either squad as Natchez had already secured the No. 2 seed from the region and Brookhaven the top overall seed.

“We wanted to get some rest while also polishing some things up,” NHS coach Dan Smith said. “A lot of these kids have been playing every game this year. I wanted to try and get them some rest so we can be fresh for the playoffs next week.”

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Natchez will take on Wayne County in a best-of-three series starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Chester Willis Field.

The pivotal point in Thursday’s game came in the bottom of the third. After the Panthers (18-7, 8-0) scored four runs in the top of the third to build an 11-3 lead, Natchez loaded the bases with two outs and had senior Tydarius Terrell strolling to the plate.

However, Brookhaven pulled of a hidden-ball trick, and escaped the Bulldogs’ rally unscathed.

Natchez scored two runs in the first, one in the third and added two more in the fifth.

Charlie Latham had an RBI groundout in the first inning for Natchez.

Despite the lopsided loss, Smith said he was proud of the way his team competed throughout.

“I saw fight,” Smith said. “We could have easily given up, because we had a lot of bad calls. But we stayed in the game and fought through it. That’s what I’m proud of.”

Natchez was on the brink of being run-ruled in the bottom of the fifth, trailing 14-3. But the Bulldogs rallied for two runs in the frame to force a sixth inning.

Freshman Jakel Barnes delivered with a two-run single to center that drove in Jatavis Melton and L.J. Minor.

Melton had three steals in the game, and Minor scored twice.

Jacorian Sewell was used strictly a pinch runner, and the fleet footed eighth grader didn’t disappoint. Sewell stole second and third in the second and was able to score on a throwing error, cutting the Bulldogs deficit to three runs.

Natchez will play Terry Saturday, then host Jefferson County Wednesday night for senior night.