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Natchez nips LCHS

MCCOMB – The Natchez High Bulldogs defeated the Lawrence CountyCougars 3-2 in the annual McComb Coca-Cola Tournament held atRotary Field. The game was a pitching duel between right-handersBrian Kossum of Natchez and Lawrence County’s Michael Edwards. Inthe tough-luck loss, Edwards allowed eight hits, struck out fiveand allowed two walks. He even led the Cougars at the plate withtwo hits, including a double.

Kossum gained the complete game victory allowing four hits. Hestruck out five and walked one. Carl Hayes, Marques Kinds andCalvin Jackson had two hits each for Natchez. Brock Barlow andKossum each had one hit for the Bulldogs.

Cougar coach Chris Clark, who saw his team fall to 5-6, saidthat the his squad “simply didn’t swing the bats.”

“Michael pitched very well,” said Clark. “It was a shame for himto lose. We made the plays defensively, we just didn’t hit theball.” Clark said that if the Cougars didn’t get more tenacious atthe plate, and get more than three guys contributing on a regularbasis, “this sure won’t be the last close, well-pitched game thatwe’ll lose.”

Clark’s frustration was understandable. His Cougars were retiredin order in four of the seven innings, and were forced to resort totwo fourth inning squeeze bunts to avoid being shut out. LawrenceCounty got four hits in the game, two from Edwards, and one eachfrom Tyler Ball and Nathan Evans.

Edwards gave his usual quality start. He and Kossum had shutoutsworking through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth,Evans led off with a single, and Edwards doubled him to third.Powell then squeezed home Evans to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.T.J. Johnson later squeezed home Edwards to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs came back with three singles and a hit batsman inthe bottom of the fourth to plate three runs. All three Bulldoghits were “seeing eye singles”, slow rollers that found the holebetween third base and shortstop.

“We’ve played 11 games,” Clark concluded, “and we’ve been in allbut two of them, so our guys aren’t playing too bad. We’ve just gotto find some offense if we’re going to start winning these closeones.”

Clark’s Cougars get that chance Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m.when they take on Wesson at Rotary Field in McComb.

NATCHEZ 3, LAWRENCE COUNTY 2

Lawrence Co. 000 200 0 – 2 4 1

Natchez 000 300 x – 3 8 0

WP – Brian Kossum. LP -Michael Edwards (2-2). HR – None.2B – Edwards (LC). Multiple Hits– Kinds (N), Hayes (N), Jackson (N), Edwards (LC).