Jena, Tioga and Grant Parish have all taken their shot at the Jackson Parish 10U All-Stars at the Dixie Youth District Tournament being played in Jena. All have fallen. It has been a perfect beginning to the tourney for the “dandy dozen” who is now just two wins away from bringing home the district championship and just one victory away from qualifying for the state tourney. They best part is that each of the remaining games will be against one of the teams the locals have already beaten.
Jackson Parish 11 Jena 6: In a contest that more swings in it than a school playground JP10U broke open the back and forth game by exploding for six runs in the top of the sixth inning to put away the game home standers.
Talk about a ride on the emotional rollercoaster.
UP: JP10U scored two runs in the top of the first without getting a hit as Bentley Ponder and Mason Thomas opened the game by coaxing walks. Both advanced a base on a fly out to right field and again on a wild pitch that scored Ponder. Thomas then tallied on a Jake Moak grounder.
DOWN: With two outs in the bottom of the first, Jena tied the score on a walk, error and a base hit.
UP: Cason Rogers gunned down a Jena base runner to end the inning.
DOWN: A couple of walks and fielding errors leads to Jena scoring three runs without getting a hit in the bottom of the third inning.
UP: Locals tie it up at 5 each in the top of the fifth thanks to keen eyes and quick feet by Raylon Bradford, Thomas, Noah Spillman, Moak and Rogers, who all drew walks.
DOWN: A pair of clutch hits by Jena gave the home team what looked like a possible game winning lead.
UP: Just when it looked like Jena had all the momentum JP10U grabbed it back by tagging out a Jena baserunner who was attempting to steal home to end the inning and keep the locals just one run down.
BIG UP!!!!! JP10 got only two hits the entire ballgame. That was in the third inning. Yet it was another hit, this one when the Jena pitcher plunked Jaxon Cheatwood that started the ball rolling that led to six runs being scored before the first out was made in the final frame. Again all the damage was done by the team being patient and earning base on balls. Five of them in fact, all in a row, right after the pitcher hit Cheatwood. Waylon Sullivan was the first to walk followed by Bradford, Ponder, Thomas and Spillman
Jackson Parish 14 Tioga 7: Jackson Parish burst out of the gates to score three in the first and second inning and then played Tioga basically even the rest of the way to move to 2-0 in tourney play. Once again it was walks that led to runs, especially in the first two frames but in this one JP10U also brought out the heavy lumber and showed their fleet of foot on the base paths.
Mason Thomas and Noah Spillman both drew walks in the first and scored on the locals first extra base hit of the tourney when Jake Moak, who would advance to third on an error and score and then steal home, smoked a double to center.
Walks, stolen bases and passed balls brought home Raylon Bradford, Jaxon Cheatwood and Waylon Sullivan at JP10U extended the lead to 6-0 after two. Mason Thomas made it 7-0 in the third when he hit a single, advanced on an error and scored on a hit by Spillman. Bradford would push the lead to 8-0 in the top of the fourth when he hit a single stole second and third then scored on Cheatwood’s base hit.
Cason Rogers was the first to “leave the yard” in the tourney for JP10U to up the lead to 10-1 before Tioga scored four in the bottom half of the fifth to close the gap to five runs. Once again the locals blew it open with a big sixth inning as Jensen Waggoner and Moak hit singles, Rayn Sandifer got hit and Bentley Ponder drew a walk which led to four runs.
JP10U scored in every inning to stretch their streak of scoring a run in consectutive frames to eight. The locals also totaled nine hits compared to just four for Tioga who struggled at the plate against four JP10U pitchers.
2B – Moak
HR – Rogers
RBI – Moak 2, Rogers 2, Spillman, Cheatwood, Waggoner
RS – Spillman 3, Bradford 2, Thomas 2, Ponder, Moak, Rogers, Cheatwood, Sullivan, Waggoner, Sandifer
SB – Bradford 3, Cheatwood, Sullivan
Jackson Parish 7 Grant 6: Due it once you may be considered lucky. Twice is good but still may be a fluke. Do it three times and you have established a reputation. What the JP10U team has done is prove that when the game is on the line they are at their best. For the third game ain a row the sixth and final inning belonged to the locals this time allowing for the one run victory.
The hero in this one was Hayden Essmeier who reached base three times. It was his run in the top of the second that got JP10U on the books after spotting Grant a 6-0 lead. Then he drove in a run in the third and single handedly scored the winner in the sixth by reaching on an error, advancing to second on a passed ball and then stole third and home. Two more who played vital roles in the impressive comeback was Jake Moak and Bentley Ponder who combined to thrown 5 2/3 innings of no run ball while striking out nine between them to allow for JP10U to rally.
It was the third inning where JP10U did most of their damage and scored five runs to tie the game at six each. Ryan Sandifer got hit by a pitch to open the frame followed by Ponder and Mason Thomas walking to load the bases. Singles by Noah Spillmand and Moak brought in three runs before Cason Rogers, who would later score on an error off the bat of Essmeier plated another with a double.
2B – Rogers
RBI – Spillman 2, Moak, Essmeier
RS – Essmeier 2, Ponder, Thomas, Moak, Rogers, Sandifer
SB – Essmeier 2, Waggoner 1
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