Natchez T-ball team goes undefeated to claim state tourney, eyes World Series

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 16, 2017

Natchez Americans coach Robert Segrest says leading a team filled with 6 year olds is similar to Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get.

However, what Segrest has witnessed from his Dixie Youth T-ball All-Stars has splashed a smile across his face.

After breezing through the district tournament in late June, the Americans went 5-0 last weekend at the state tournament in Philadelphia, propelling the team to a world series berth July 20-23 in Ruston, La.

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“We’ve accomplished a lot to this point. It’s something these kids will remember for a long time,” Segrest said. “I don’t know what to expect (at the World Series). You never know, they’re kids.”

The Americans have won seven of its games via the run-rule, including an 18-10 triumph in the state championship game over St. Martin.

Segrest said what separates his team from others is its all-around ability.

“Some teams we have faced have a good offense and not a good defense or vice-versa,” he said. “We tend to be pretty consistent on both sides.”

The Americans coach added his team’s knack for processing instruction has proven beneficial.

“Paying attention and listening, especially at that age, is big,” Segrest said. “They’re good kids with good attitudes.”

Segrest said his team is guaranteed to play at least five games in Ruston and expects his squad to face stern challenges all around.

“We’re going to be facing a ball that’s going to be hit a little bit harder,” he said. “They’re going to have to step their game up.”

Segrest also said his squad has received outpouring support and donations from the community, a gesture the Americans are truly thankful for.

He added that no matter what happens next weekend, he’s proud of his team’s accomplishments on and off the diamond.

“They’re learning more than just baseball,” he said. “They’re learning to grow up. Baseball is a lot like life. There are responsibilities — teamwork — but it’s also about accepting the outcome as long as you know you tried the best you could. A lot of things in life are that way.”