Natchez High baseball swept at Battle at the Beach Tournament

Published 7:00 pm Friday, March 13, 2020

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BILOXI — The Natchez High School Bulldogs were looking to get back into the winning column last Thursday afternoon when they took on the St. Aloysius High School Flashes at the Battle at the Beach Tournament.

Instead, it was St. Aloysius that came up with the big inning, scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull away for an 11-3 win over Natchez High as the Bulldogs would end up going winless in their three games.

Natchez High fell behind 2-0 after three innings of play before finally getting on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning on a run-scoring single by Rodrick Simpson. Then the Flashes took command in the bottom of the fourth with four different players driving in runs to make it an 8-1 game.

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“In that game, we had four errors. If we don’t have those errors, it’s a whole different game,” said Dan Smith, Bulldogs head coach. “They didn’t get down. They still fought.”

Zehalin Cornett reached first base after being hit by a pitch before Kelvin Jones hit a home run to cut the lead to 8-3 in the top of the fifth. However, St. Aloysius responded with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Travon Henry was charged with the loss after giving up one earned runs on four hits with one strikeout, one walk and one hit batter in two innings. Jakel Barnes had a triple for the Bulldogs.

“It was well worth it for my kids overall. A lot of different competition,” Smith said. “In the long run, I think it’s going to help us in (MHSAA Region 6-5A) competition.”

Natchez High (5-7) plays host to Vicksburg High School Monday with junior varsity game at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7 p.m.

Jackson Prep 9, Natchez High 6 (Game 1)

GULFPORT — Natchez High School dropped its first two games at the Battle at the Beach Tournament last Wednesday. The Bulldogs loss a tough one to the Jackson Preparatory School Patriots 9-6 before getting hammered by the West Harrison High School Hurricanes 15-1 in three innings in the nightcap.

In its first game of the day, Natchez High fell behind 2-0 at the end of the first inning before the Bulldogs rallied for five runs in the top of the second for a 5-2 lead. Jakel Barnes, Zehalin Cornett, Travon Henry and Lionell Minor each had RBIs during the top of the second.

But the Patriots answered with a six-run rally in the bottom of the third inning for an 8-5 lead. Barnes hit an RBI double in the top of the fourth to make it an 8-6 game before Jackson Prep scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth.

“We played a good game. We ran out of time,” Smith said. “It was back and forth. We had a couple of walks. It took a while for Dylan to get on. I was proud of them. That was Jackson Prep. They had three or four kids who signed with SEC schools, so we were excited to play them.”

Cy Craig was the winning pitcher after he allowed five runs, four of them earned, on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts. Grant Simpson picked up the save after giving up one earned run on one hit and two walks with one strikeout in two innings of relief.

Dylan Troxler suffered the loss as he gave up six runs on five hits and six walks with one strikeout over two and one-third innings. Kelvin Jones gave up three runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks in an inning and a third.

Barnes went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and Minor had a double to lead the Bulldogs at the plate.

West Harrison 15, Natchez High 1 (Game 2)

The second game of the day was a rough one for Natchez High, especially after watching West Harrison score 12 runs in the bottom of the second inning to put the game away.

The only bright spot for the Bulldogs was a solo home run by Minor in the top of the third inning.

Jwun Mackey took the loss for Natchez High on the mound as he gave up nine runs, eight of them earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter in one-plus innings. Cameron Brooks came on in relief and allowed six earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and four walks in one inning.

“We had our eighth-grader (Mackey) out there. West Harrison hit the ball pretty good,” Smith said.

Donnie Davis struck out seven and allowed just three hits over three innings to pick up the win for the Hurricanes. He also went 2-for-2 with a solo home run.