Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2006

At times, it looked like men versus boys. The Natchez All-Starsflexed their muscles and whipped the Brookhaven American LeagueAll-Stars 9-2 Wednesday night, winning the Dixie Youth BaseballMajor League North Subdistrict Six Tournament at Keystone Park.

Natchez advances to the District Six Tournament which startsFriday night at Summit. Game time is 6:30. Summit captured theSouth Subdistrict crown and faces Natchez in a best-of-thee series.The winner advances to the state tournament at Magee, starting July21.

The Brookhaven Americans were the only team to beat Natchez inthe subdistrict, winning 4-3 Monday in a 10-inning marathon. Theywere unable to repeat that performance last night, self-destructingwith 8 errors and limited to 5 hits by a pair of Natchezpitchers.

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American League manager Glenn Miller said he was impressed bythe size and strength of the Natchez squad. “They have some men onthat team. Their first four (batters) are powerful. They can strokeit.”

Neither Miller’s team nor the Brookhaven National Leagueall-stars managed to hit a home run in the double-eliminationtournament.

Miller said his team battled and gave a great effort in thetournament. “I’m proud of my kids.”

On the mound, Natchez’s Jake Brumfield, a big red-headed,right-hander, scattered 4 hits in 4 innings and held Brookhavenscoreless. He struck out 5 batters and walked 3.

Catcher Christopher Perry replaced Brumfield on the mound in thetop of the fifth and Brumfield began working behind the plate.Perry gave up 2 runs on 1 hit, walking 2 and fanning 1.

Perry’s first-pitch, 2-run homer over the left field fence gaveNatchez a 9-2 lead in the fifth.

Brookhaven had scored twice in the top of the fifth, reducingthe deficit to 7-2. Logan Killingsworth and Zach Cannon receivedback-to-back bases on balls from Perry to start the inning. HunterFranklin reached first on a fielding error to load the bases.

Trailing 7-0, the Americans got an RBI single from Konner Burk.Brandon Miller’s grounder scored Cannon with the second run.

On a sweat-soaked evening, Natchez had taken a 2-0 lead in thebottom of the first inning. Brumfield’s RBI single plated the firstrun. A fielding error allowed the second run to score.

For the Americans, the wheels came off their title quest in thethird. Natchez plated 4 runs, capitalizing on 4 Brookhaven errors.For the game, the Americans committed 8 miscues.

Right-hander Tyler Case absorbed the setback. He struck out 8batters and walked 2, giving up 8 hits in 5 innings.

Natchez won the 11-year-old state tournament last year andshould be a favorite to win the 12s if the team can beat Summit inthe district finals.