Jonesboro-Hodge opened the 2022 baseball season with a convincing 12-1 victory over Simsboro giving head coach Justin Durbin and assistant Chris Smith victories in their first game as a combination. The Tigers scored seven runs in the second inning that led to the five inning “mercy rule” victory, the team’s first season opening win since 2016.
It was a dominating, total team performance for the Tigers. Offensively they belted out 10 hits, half that went for extra bases. Two hurlers combined to strike out 11 and allow only a pair of hits and in the field JHHS played flawlessly without an error.
JHHS did something in the very first inning that the Tigers failed to do seven times last season – score a run. By games end, the Tigers had plated more runs in the first game of the season than they did in all but one of the 19 contests they played in 2021.
It was cleanup hitter Logan Smith’s triple to left center that plated Dominick Strickland, who had coaxed a two out walk that put the Tigers on the board in the first frame. Then JHHS opened the floodgates with seven runs on seven hits in the second inning to chase the Simsboro starting pitcher.
Titus Thompson opened the second with a single and scored on a triple by Ethan Taylor. After Aiden Price “took one for the team” when he got hit by a pitch, Julian Paggett doubled and Marcus Thompson singled. That set the stage for Strickland stroking the third extra base hit of the inning with a double to right center and Smith getting his second hit in as many innings and scoring a run following an error when I Turnage flew out to right field.
JHHS added another run when Taylor walked to open the top of the third and scored on Thompson’s double, his second hit of the day. The Tigers scored their final three runs in the fifth as Paggett singled and both Thompson and Alphonzo Calahan walked to load the bases. Strickland reached base for the fourth consecutive time by getting hit with a pitch to drive in a run and Smith followed with his third hit that resulted in his second and third RBI. Thompson got the win after striking out seven in three innings of work with Strickland relieving him and striking out four in two innings on the mound.
WP – Thompson
LP = Mosely
2B – Thompson, Paggett, Strickland
3B – Smith, Taylor
RBI – Strickland 3, Smith 3, Thompson 2, Taylor, Paggett
SB – Thompson 2, Taylor, Evans
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