NE Jones draws Sumrall-Pass winner in Round 2
Northeast Jones leadoff man Mason Smith hit the first pitch he saw over the fence, and from there, the Tigers were off to the races to rip Raymond, 12-4, in the opening game of their Class 4A playoff series.
The Tigers (16-10) wrapped up the series with a 12-0 win Saturday at Raymond, and coach Jeremy Parker’s squad is preparing to take on either Sumrall or Pass Christian in the second round starting Thursday. Those two squads were playing a deciding Game 3 on Monday night. If Sumrall wins, NEJ will be on the road for the first game of the second round. If Pass Christian wins, the Tigers will host Game 1.
In the opening game of the first round, Dylan Greer led off the third inning with a home run and Patrick Little, who went 3-for-4, added a two-run shot in the fourth to lead the Tigers on Friday night in The Jungle. Tyler Harper went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Dayvis McLeod drove in a pair of runs, Eli Collins went 2-for-3 with a double and Joey Withers went 2-for-3. Smith went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including his first roundtripper of the season.
Starter Dalton Tanner (5-1) came out of the game in the fifth inning with a 9-0 lead, but he returned to the mound after the Rangers (11-16) scored three runs and had the bases loaded with no outs. He got a strikeout, a force-out at home and gave up a bloop single that scored one run before getting out of the jam. The sophomore southpaw struck out eight, scattered four hits and didn’t walk a batter in seven innings. Smith, who is usually a starter and was getting in some work on the mound, walked the three batters he faced and threw two wild pitches.
The Tigers were terrors on the basepaths for their visitors, stealing 10 bases on 11 attempts. Withers stole four bases on four attempts.
In Game 2, Brady Blackwell (6-0) pitched a gem — allowing only one hit in a five-inning, complete-game shutout.
Eighth-grader Carson Ellis had two singles and four RBIs, and McLeod and Little had two singles each to lead the winners.