Natchez High Bulldogs lose in 4 innings
BROOKHAVEN — Brookhaven High School spotted Natchez High School an early lead, but the Bulldogs kept making one mistake after another — whether it was on the mound or in the field.
The combination of 13 walks issued by Natchez High pitching, seven hit batters, and four errors put an end of any thoughts of the Bulldogs pulling off the upset as they lost to the Brookhaven High Panthers 19-7 in four innings Thursday afternoon in an MHSAA Region 6-5A game.
“Walks were the difference. We out-hit them (6 to 5), but we had too many walks,” Natchez High head coach Dan Smith said. “The walks put us in a bad position.”
The Bulldogs got to Brookhaven starting pitcher Byrion Robinson early to the tune of five runs in the top of the first inning. But it did not take long for the visitors to see that lead disappear.
The Panthers scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and followed that up with a six-run rally in the bottom of the second for an 8-5 lead.
“A couple of times we walked the bases loaded. Then they got a big hit,” Smith said. “We were up 5-0 in the first inning. Our pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone.”
Devin Winchester got the start for the Bulldogs on the mound and lasted just two innings. He gave up 10 runs, seven of them earned, on three hits, six walks, and four hit batters with just one strikeout.
Natchez High came close to tying the ball game after plating two runs in the top of the third inning to make the score 8-7, but Brookhaven scored four runs in the bottom of the third and seven runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Zehalin Cornett came on in relief of Winchester and gave up eight runs, six of them earned, on just one hit but also with seven walks and one hit batter in one inning. Travon Henry went two-thirds of an inning and allowed one unearned run on one hit and two hit batters with two strikeouts.
Paul Hargrave went 3-for-3 while Henry had a triple and Cornett had a double for the Bulldogs. Dylan Reeves went 2-for-3 to lead Brookhaven at the plate.
Natchez High (5-5, 2-2) plays at Port Gibson High School on Saturday with the junior varsity game at 1 p.m. and the varsity game at 3 p.m.