Bouldin, Davis, Fletcher lead Natchez High to blowout win at South Pike

Published 12:39 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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MAGNOLIA — Mason Bouldin and Jaylin Davis combined to pitch a three-hitter with a combined five strikeouts as the Natchez High School Bulldogs rolled to a 19-3 win over the South Pike High School Eagles in four innings last Thursday night.

Bouldin got the start for Natchez High was the winning pitcher after he gave up two runs, only one of them earned, on just two hits with two strikeouts and one walk in the first two innings. He got all the run support he needed when the Bulldogs struck for seven runs in the top of the second inning that broke a 1-1 tie at the end of the first inning.

Jaylin pitched the final two innings and allowed one unearned run on only one hit, struck out three, and walked two.

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“Both of our pitchers did a good job filling up the strike zone and getting ahead of the count,” Natchez High head coach Dan Smith said. “We’re still making errors here and there. But we limited the walks. When you limit the walks, you have a chance.”

South Pike scored one run in the bottom of the second inning to make it an 8-2 game, but Natchez High responded with five runs in the top of the third inning to take a 13-2 lead. The Eagles scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the third and trailed 13-3. The Bulldogs would run-rule game Eagles thanks to six runs in the top of the fourth.

“We hit the ball pretty well. But I’m still harping on the errors. I’m a defensive guy,” Smith said. “When we cut down on the errors, we’ll be a more improved ball club. Our younger guys are getting better.”

Bouldin and Davis were also hard to get out when each of them were at the plate. Bouldin went 2-for-3 with a triple, four runs batted in, and one run scored. Davis was 2-for-4 with a triple, one RBI, and four runs scored.

“When it comes to the bat, I expect them to produce. When both of them are good, it trickles down to the whole team,” Smith said.

They weren’t the only Bulldogs who contributed at the plate. Jaylin Neal was 2-for-3, was walked once, had six stolen bases, and scored three runs. Ahmarrion Fletcher went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, four stolen bases, and two runs scored. Antonio Crenshaw was 1-for-2, was walked twice, stole five total bases, had two RBIs, and scored one run. Jamarius Bell was 1-for-1 with one RBI and two runs scored.

“Ahmarrion is one of our older guys. He stepped up for us a couple of times with runners on base. He produced for us (Thursday) night,” Smith said. “He’s been working hard at practice. When you work hard at practice, we reward you.”

Jones (no first name given) was charged with the loss for South Pike as he gave up eight runs, three of them earned, on four hits, struck out two, walked two, and hit two batted.

Jonah Norris pitched two innings in relief and was even worse. He allowed 11 runs, four of them earned, on seven hits with three strikeouts, two walks, and one hit batter.

In addition to the 11 total base hits that the Bulldogs had, they also took advantage of six South Pike errors and used their speed at the bases as they had 27 total stolen bases as a team.

Natchez High (9-9) was scheduled to host MHSAA Region 3-5A for North Pike High School for a varsity doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Chester Willis Field, if the weather permitted. 

The Bulldogs were then scheduled to host South Pike on Saturday with the junior varsity game at 11 a.m., followed by the varsity game at 1 p.m.