Natchez High shut out by West Jones, still winless in Region 5-5A

Published 5:07 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

NATCHEZ — West Jones High School senior pitcher Francisco Elvira struck out 11 Natchez High School batters in a complete-game shutout as the Mustangs defeated the Bulldogs 3-0 last Thursday night at Chester Willis Field in an MHSAA Region 5-5A game.

Elvira did not walk any batters and he came through in a big way as he went 1-for-3 and drove in two of West Jones’s three runs the Mustangs scored in the top of the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie.

Despite the loss, Natchez High head coach Dan Smith said this was the best game the Bulldogs played all season and it was against what he said is one of the top programs in the entire state.

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“My kids, they’re getting better by the game. We had two errors and West Jones scored all their runs in the seventh inning. I was proud of my kids for the way they played. Not so much how the game ended, though,” Smith said. “With a good program, if we play mistake-free baseball, we can play with anyone. Two runs they scored were on a walk and an error.”

Even though Trylon Minor was charged with the loss on the mound, he and the defense behind him did their best to give the Bulldogs the opportunity to pull off what would have been a huge upset win.

Minor also went the distance and gave up no earned runs on just one hit, struck out four batters, walked two and hit one batter. Unfortunately, one of those walks and that hit batter proved to be costly in the top of the seventh.

“He threw strikes and we played defense. That’s what kept us in the game,” Smith said. “The only had one hit. They hit the ball and we played defense. The last run they scored, we hit a batter. So that was an unearned run.”

The other problem was that Natchez High struggled at the plate against an outstanding pitcher in Elvira. The only player who didn’t was Minor, who went 2-for-3 with a double. He was also one of only three players who did not strike out.

“He can get up there. He was getting up in the high 80s. He’s already signed a D1 scholarship,” Smith said. “they have three or four players who have already signed D1 scholarships. Their shortstop, I believe, committed to USM. Their right fielder committed to Pearl River (Community College).”