Kris Riley ripped a walk-off home run to give West Jones a dramatic 7-6 win over Brandon in extra innings during a cold drizzle on Monday night at The Shoe.
Cole Tolbert’s grand slam gave WJ (6-1) a 5-0 lead over the 6A powerhouse in the third inning, but the Bulldogs (5-1) tied it with a five-run fourth inning. The teams traded single runs in the fifth and the game was knotted at 6 after seven innings to force an eighth inning.
That’s when Riley, a senior left-hander, walked up to the plate and hit a solo shot for the win. He went 2-for-3 for the Mustangs, who managed only six hits. Riley also had a walk-off homer to put the Mustangs into the 5A South State championship series last season.
Sam Hill started for WJ, striking out three and allowing one hit and two runs in three innings. Garrett McLaurin got the win in relief. He surrendered one run on two hits over 4-1/3 innings, striking out six and walking none. Tolbert threw two-thirds of an inning in relief. The defense played error-free ball behind them.
The Mustangs were coming off their first loss of the season, a 10-0 shellacking at Sumrall. West lost to Brandon 10-0 last season.
West hosts Laurel (1-3) at 7 p.m. today (Thursday) to open region play, then plays twice Saturday — hosting Gulfport at 1 p.m. then going to the Northeast Jones Tournament at 5:30 p.m. to play Florence.
NE Jones 15, Quitman 9
Tyler Harper went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and Dylan Greer went 2-for-2 with three RBIs to lead the Tigers (3-4) to a win in their region opener on Tuesday. Dayvis McLeod had two hits and two RBIs, Carson Ellis drove in two runs and Patrick Little had an RBI in the slugfest. The Tigers had 10 hits to the Panthers’ five, but had to overcome eight errors. No pitching statistics were reported. Quitman dropped to 0-5.
The Tigers were coming off a 5-0 loss to Parklane. Harper went 2-for-3 and Greer doubled. Mason Smith took the loss.
NEJ hosts Wayne Academy at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) then hosts Quitman at 5 p.m. Friday and Morton at 7 p.m. Friday.
Pearl River Central 13, SJ 2
Mark Diers went 2-for-3 and Andrew Howard drove in a run, but it wasn’t enough for the Braves (5-3) in cold Carriere on Monday night.
Hayden Dunhurst had a two-run homer and freshmen Jacob Stockstill and Nolan Walther drove in three runs each to lead the Blue Devils (4-3). Austin Dean got the victory and Evan Mouton took the loss. McCain Walters started and struck out nine in four innings, giving up three walks and one hit.
It was a scoreless tie through four innings, but the home team erupted for eight runs in the fifth and five in the sixth.
SJ will open region play at Wayne County (4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday then play Millry (Ala.) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Northeast Jones Tournament.
• Laurel is coming off a 13-5 loss to Seminary.