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Lincoln Co. Americans, Nationals win opener

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Americans' Payne Waldrop collects the win against Natchez in the Dixie Youth AAA 10-year-olds tournament at Keystone Park.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Americans’ Payne Waldrop collects the win against Natchez in the Dixie Youth AAA 10-year-olds tournament at Keystone Park.

The Lincoln County Americans and the Nationals AAA All-Star teams were victorious in the opening round of the Dixie Youth Baseball AAA All-Star 10-year-old Sub-District Six Tournament Friday night at Keystone Park.

The Lincoln County Americans managed to hold off a late surge by the Natchez All-Star to prevail 11-9 in the opener. In the nightcap, the Lincoln County Nationals blanked the Franklin County All-Stars 11-0 in a four-inning contest.

The tournament continued Saturday as the Natchez All-Stars battled the Franklin County All-Stars at 6 p.m. in the loser’s bracket. The Lincoln County Americans took on their counterparts the Lincoln County Nationals at 7:30 p.m. in the winner’s bracket.

The tournament at Keystone Park will continue on Monday with one game starting at 7 p.m. The championship game will be played on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m., unless Saturday’s thunderstorm caused the postponement of the tournament in which the games would resume on Monday and end on Wednesday.

Lincoln Co. Americans 11, Natchez 9

In Game 1, the Lincoln County Americans came out and quickly took charge of the contest as they jumped on the Natchez All-Stars in the bottom of the first inning to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

In the top of the second inning, the Natchez All-Stars managed to get their offense going as they scored two runs to cut into the Americans’ lead at 5-2.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Americans' Corby Husser fights off a pitch during an at bat against Natchez Friday night at Keystone Park.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Americans’ Corby Husser fights off a pitch during an at bat against Natchez Friday night at Keystone Park.

After a scoreless bottom of the second and top of the third inning, the Americans rekindle their offensive spark in the bottom of the third inning to plate four runs on the scoreboard and extend their lead to 9-2.

In the top of the fourth and fifth inning, the All-Stars from Natchez put together a strong offensive surge to cut down the Americans’ lead to 9-8 after scoring three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Americans fought hard to add to their lead as they pushed across two runs to secure a 11-8 advantage.

In the top of the sixth inning, Natchez looked to continue their offensive attack as they scored one run to cut into Lincoln County’s lead at 11-9, but the Americans defense managed to hold off the Natchez All-Stars attack by securing the final two outs to claim the win.

Payne Waldrop was the starting pitcher for the Americans who collected the win with eight strikeouts and one walk. Carter Holcomb (0K, 7 BB) pitched in relief. Brandon Welch collected the save with two strikeouts and one walk.

Bradi Gamberi absorbed the loss on the mound for Natchez with eight strikeouts and no walks. Sam Merritt (3K, 2BB) tossed in relied.

Waldrop was the offensive leader at the plate for the Americans with two triples. Caleb Smith contributed a double and a single. Welch provided two singles. Will Loy, Samuel Evans and Holcomb hit a double each. Jacob Rushing had a single.

Jake Maples and Merritt directed the Natchez All-Stars’ offense with a double and a single apiece. Landon Kruger provided two singles. Christian Wright ripped a double. Hitting safely were Ethan Isbell and Jacob Moore.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Nationals' J.T. Smith pitches the shut out win against the Franklin County All-Stars in the Dixie Youth AAA 10-year-olds tournament at Keystone Park.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Nationals’ J.T. Smith pitches the shut out win against the Franklin County All-Stars in the Dixie Youth AAA 10-year-olds tournament at Keystone Park.

Lincoln Co. Nationals 11, Franklin Co. 0 

In Game 2, the Lincoln County Nationals overpowered the Franklin County All-Stars with strong defensive pitching and a solid offensive attack at the plate to take a commanding 11-0 lead after three innings of work and held on to clinch the victory in a four-inning contest.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Nationals' Logan Case hits a single against the Franklin County All-Stars Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Lincoln County Nationals’ Logan Case hits a single against the Franklin County All-Stars Friday night.

J.T. Smith was the winning pitcher for the Nationals on the mound with seven strikeouts and four walks. Trevor Smith (2K, 2BB) pitched the fourth inning to secure the shut out.

Aden Smith absorbed the setback on the rubber for Franklin County with four strikeouts and seven walks.

Trenton Tarver led the Nationals at the plate with a double. Logan Case, Peyton Prather and J.T. Smith hit safely.

Jawan Mackey and Kepatrick Nimox paced the Franklin County All-Stars’ offense with a single each.