Top-ranked Bobcats win twice; to play Hinds for Region 23 title SundayMay 17, 2014
By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director
ELLISVILLE – Entering Saturday, the top-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats knew they had to win three games in two days to capture the Region 23 Tournament crown.
After a full day of baseball at Community Bank Park, the Bobcats are 2/3 of the way through of accomplishing that feat.
Chase Hensley threw a complete-game, five-hitter as the Bobcats eliminated 2nd-ranked LSU-Eunice 5-1 in the opening game of the day.
Then, the Bobcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead, saw Hinds pull within 10-9 in the eighth inning and hung on for a 12-9 victory in the nightcap to hand the Eagles their first loss of the tournament.
JCJC, 46-10, will now meet Hinds, 34-19, at 2 p.m. on Sunday for the region championship. The game will air on www.jcjc.tv. It will be the 10th meeting between the two teams this spring with the Bobcats currently holding a 5-4 edge.
The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series May 24-31 in Enid, Oklahoma.
Bobcats 5, Bengals 1
Hensley, the freshman from Humboldt, Tenn., was the story of the game.
He gave up a run in the top of the first inning, but settled down after that and posted the win to improve to 8-1.
Hensley walked two, struck out two and threw 136 pitches on the day.
The Bengals scored in the first when Derek Herrington led off with a single and Brennan Bozeman followed with a double to right. Stefan Trosclair’s double would score Herrington.
But JCJC responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Trent Giambrone and Tyler Graves had one out singles. Jordan Stark’s fielder’s choice would score Giambrone. Stark took second on a wild pitch and scored on Hensley’s single.
JCJC made it 3-1 in the second when Josh Pankratz led off with a home run to left.
The Bobcats closed the scoring in the fourth.
Chris Morgan had a one-out single to left, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Giambrone walked to put runners at first and third. Graves was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and Stark followed with a two-run single.
Pankratz had the home run, while Morgan, Giambrone, Graves and Stark had two singles each. Hensley, Alex Shermer and Stephen Stiglets added singles. Stark finished with three RBIs.
Bozeman and Trosclair had doubles for LSU-Eunice, while Herrington, Mason Nickens and Gabe Roberts had singles.
Zach Hamilton started and took the loss. He went 3 2/3 innings, allowed five runs (four earned), nine hits, walked one and struck out one. Ryan Domingue pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowed no runs, one hit and walked one. Jevin Huvall pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowed no runs, two hits, walked one and struck out three.
LSU-Eunice ends the year at 42-13.
Bobcats 12, Eagles 9
JCJC set the tone immediately in the top of the first when Morgan singled and Giambrone followed with a two-run home run.
Graves and Stark followed with singles and advanced a base on Hensley’s fly out. Shermer then delivered a two-run single to make it 4-0.
JCJC made it 6-0 in the second when with two outs, Giambrone reached on an error and Graves and Stark were both hit by pitches to load the bases. Hensley then came through with a two-run single.
The Bobcats increased the lead to 7-0 in the third when Pankratz singled and scored on Morgan’s double.
The Eagles came back with five runs in the bottom of the third.
Jonathan Washam and Brian Mills singled and Matt Jones followed with a run-scoring single. Luke Reynolds would deliver a two-run single to make it 7-3. Chase Lunceford then singled and Marshall Boggs followed with a single to score Reynolds. Casey Echols singled to score Lunceford.
The Bobcats would score twice in the sixth.
Stiglets led off with a single and Morgan drew a walk. A wild pitch would advance the runners and Graves delivered a two-run single to make it 9-5.
Hinds made it 9-7 in the seventh.
Reynolds led off with a single and Caleb Upton reached on an error. Lunceford drove in both runs with a single.
The Bobcats made it 10-7 in the eighth when Giambrone singled, went to second on a groundout by Graves and scored on Stark’s double to left.
The Eagles pulled within 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth.
Quade Smith drew a one-out walk and Jones reached on an error. A Reynolds’ single scored Smith and Lunceford singled to score Jones. Boggs then singled, but Reynolds would be thrown out at home plate by Morgan.
JCJC added two runs in the top of the ninth.
Shermer singled and Carter Polles was hit by a pitch. Stiglets followed with a single to load the bases and Morgan’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Shermer. Giambrone then walked to load the bases and Graves was hit by a pitch to drive in Polles.
The Eagles got a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, but Will Simon would retire the next three batters in a row to record his fourth save.
Daniel Goff started, went three innings, allowed five runs (two earned), eight hits, walked none and struck out one. Christian Dale pitched three innings and got the win. He gave up two earned runs and six hits. Cole Barlow pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowed two earned runs, two hits, walked one and struck out two. Simon pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowed no runs, two hits, walked one and struck out one.
Giambrone homered and singled, while Morgan and Stark each doubled and singled for JCJC. Graves, Shermer, Pankratz and Stiglets had two singles each, while Hensley singled once.
Boggs doubled and singled twice for Hinds, while Reynolds, Upton and Lunceford had three hits each. Jones singled twice, with Smith, Echols, Washam and Mills adding singles.
Houston Case started, went five innings and took the loss. He allowed nine runs (seven earned), 10 hits, walked one and struck out three. Randy Bell pitched three innings, allowed one earned run, three hits, walked two and struck out one. Austin Sanders pitched the final inning, allowed two runs, two hits, walked one and struck out one.