Lincoln County trounces Natchez in District finals

Published 8:30 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

    BUDE – Led by Rials Hester, the Lincoln County American League All-Stars roared to a 19-1 Wednesday night victory against Natchez in the championship finals of the Dixie Youth Baseball Major League District Six Tournament. Hester pitched 3 innings of 1-hit baseball, striking out 5 batters and walking 5 at Leroy “Cowboy” Jones Memorial Field.

     The victory vaults the Americans to the DYB State Tournament at Hattiesburg, starting July 19 at 8 p.m. The Lincoln County squad is under the direction of head coach Brady Gartman and assistant coaches Bradley Cade and Chad Smith.

     Natchez and third place Franklin County also advance to the state tourney. Franklin County beat Pine Hills 15-1 last night in the third place game.

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     “Our kids played wonderful,” said Gartman. “This is a great group of kids. They hit the ball real well and we got great pitching.”

     The Americans scored an impressive 53 runs and allowed only 3 runs in 5 games, going unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament that started last Friday in Gloster. Their closest game was a 2-1, 10-inning decision over Franklin County.

     At the plate, Hester accounted for 5 RBIs on three hits. He tripled in the third inning and singled twice in the second and fifth as the Americans collected 15 hits in the blowout.

     Lincoln County plated 10 runs in the first 3 innings and Natchez never recovered. Catcher Kline Foster hit an RBI double. James Beard doubled twice. John Hilbert tripled and singled. Landon Gartman had 3 singles in the win. Keegan Smith, Krishawn Jackson, Brent Cade and Clint Stephens singled. Peyton Jergins stole home plate.

     Dane Smith started on the mound and notched the win (1K, 0BB), holding Natchez hitless in 1 inning of mound duty. James Beard (3K, 0BB) pitched the fifth and allowed 1 hit.

     Natchez got a solo homer from Ben White in the fourth inning.