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Columbus Nationals win South State Tournament opener


From Special Reports



WINONA -- The Columbus Nationals won their opening two games Thursday in the Dizzy Dean 12-year-old South State Tournament. 


The Nationals beat West Point 14-7 and Ackerman 12-1 to advance to Saturday. 


The Nationals, coached by Marty Stillman, had seven hits against West Point and eight against Ackerman. 


The leading hitters for Columbus against West Point were Payton Lane (inside the park home run, double), John Neal Stanback (two doubles), Issac Gerhart (two singles), and Josh Stillman (single). 


Lane was the starting and winning pitcher. Stanback pitched in relief. 


Columbus started and finished strong, scoring six runs in the first inning and four in the sixth. The Nationals also scored three runs in the third and one in the fifth. 


West Point scored four runs in the second, two in the third, and one in the fifth. 


Chase Austin (triple), Stillman (two singles), and Lane, Stanback, Tyler Brown, Blake Harden, and Reed Stillman (singles) led the way against Ackerman. 


Lane started and pitched one inning. Brody Stokes was the winning pitcher. 


The Nationals will play the winner of today''s game between Mathiston and Hernando at 3 p.m. Saturday. Mathiston advanced by beating East Central on Thursday. 


West Point dropped into the losers'' bracket and will play East Central at 3:30 p.m. today. 


n Greenwood 13, Columbus Americans 2: At Winona, the Columbus Americans dropped their opener in the Dizzy Dean 12-year-old South State Tournament. 


The Americans, coached by Ronnie Richardson, had five hits. Bryan Ezell led the team with two singles, while Ryan Ezell, James Brodrick, and Jovonta Ellis had a single each. 


Columbus plays again at 6 p.m. today against Carroll County, which lost to Eupora on Thursday. 


Starkville plays Grenada Recreation at 3:30 p.m. today in its first game in the tournament. 






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