Rematch is no match! JP10U All Stars cruise to District 8 Championship

No matter what the sport is, when you are forced to play a team again you have already beaten you always have an added inner confidence that you can win again. It doesn’t matter how you won. If you won once, you just know you can win again.

Conversely if a team comes out on the short end in the game before but was in it until the very end, then they often feel like they should have won the first time around and believes that this time they can get over the hump.

To win the Dixie Youth District 8 Tournament the Jackson Parish 10U All Stars faced the task of winning against a pair of teams they had already beaten. In the previous games against both, the outcome was up for grabs until late in the game so both scenarios described above came into play.

Juding by the outcome of the rematches against Tioga and Grant that was played this past Tuesday and Wednesday in Jena, confidence trumps belief.

Jackson Parish had no trouble at all in taking down Tioga 14-4 and Grant 9-0 to complete a run of five victories in five days and qualify for the state tournament that will be held in Vidalia in a few weeks as the District 8 champion.

The rematch was no match either time.

Jackson Parish 14 Tioga 4: Three runs in the top of the first got the locals off to a good start. Seven more in the second inning provided the de facto finishing touch and the four runs tacked on in the fourth ended things officially as JP10U cakewalked to the “mercy rule” victory.

Jackson Parish jumped on Tioga from the ‘get go” to take a 1-0 lead before the first out was registered and that was made on an attempt to steal home. Bentley Ponder led off with a double to right followed by a perfectly executed bunt by Mason Thomas that put runners on first and third. Noah Spillman then hit a single to score Ponder and advance Thomas to third. On the next pitch broke for second and Thomas headed home in an attempted double steal that ended with Thomas getting tagged out at the plate but the alert Spillman continuing to third. Jake Moak got the fourth hit of the inning to plate Spillman then with two out, Hayden Essmeier hit a sharp grounder to third that was misplayed that allowed Moak to score.

Three quick out on four pitches by Cason Rogers brought the locals up again where this time they blew things open by scoring seven runs after two outs had been made. Axel Coe got the onslaught started by drawing a one out walk the Ryan Sandifer got hit by a pitch to put two men on with two outs. Ponder collected his second hit in two innings to plate Coe followed by Sandifer scoring on Thomas’s second hit. Spillman repeated his performance of the first inning to score Ponder leading to Moak clearing the bases with a triple to center and then dashed home when the relay to the infield got away. Jackson Parish made it 10-0 when Rogers walked, took two bases on a wild pitch and trotted home after an Essmeier single.

Tioga managed to get on the board with a run in the bottom of the third but that only ignited another multiple run inning by the locals in the top of the fourth. Moak started the beginning to the end by getting hit by a pitch. Essmeier then got his second hit and Raylon Bradford tripled to score them both.
Once again Jackson Parish lost a run at the plate on another attempted steal of home. Once again Jackson Parish scored after two out when Jaxon Cheatwood reached first after getting hit by a pitch and Jensen Waggoner singled. A passed ball allowed Cheatwood to score and move Waggoner to third setting up Ponder’s third hit and second RBI of the contest. Tioga scored three in a desperate last gasp rally attempt in the bottom of the fourth but it was too little too late as Jackson Parish advanced to the championship game.

Mason Thomas and Bentley Ponder led the hit parade with three each while Noah Spillman, Jake Moak, Hayden Essmeier and Raylon Bradford got two apiece. Jaxon Cheatwood and Jensen Waggoner also chipped in with a hit. Moak led the way with 3 runs scored and 3 RBI, while Spillman scored twice and both he and Bradford knocked in a pair. JP10U also stole 11 bases in the game with Spillman and Thomas swiping three apiece.

GAME 1 2 3 4 R H E
Jackson Parish 3 7 0 4 14 16 3
Tioga 0 1 0 3 4 5 2

2B – Ponder
3B – Bradford, Moak
RBI – Moak 3, Ponder 2, Spillman 2, Bradford 2, Thomas, Essmeier
RS – Moak 3, Ponder 2, Spillman2, Thomas, Rogers, Essmeier, Cheatwod, Waggoner, Coe, Sandifer
SB – Spillman 3, Thomas 3, Waggoner, Essmeier, Moak, Rogers, Ponder

Jackson Parish 9 Grant 0: The pattern for success by JP10U had been varied over the first four games. In the opener against Jena it was a last inning offensive onslaught that brought victory. In both games against Tioga early leads held up. In the first game against Grant the locals rallied from six runs down in the first inning to take a one run victory.

In the rematch scoring early and often once again proved fruitful but JP10U added a new ingredient to their recipe for success. Don’t let the opponent score.

That was achieved through the stellar pitching performance of Jake Moak, who in the biggest game of his young career turned in the best pitching performance of any game in the entire tournament. To say Moak was utterly dominant is an understatement. Not a single Grant baserunner got past second base and that was in the very first inning. In six innings of shut-out work, Moak painted the plate for strikes 54 times in 73 pitches which equates to a superb 74% rate ending the contest with eight K’s and allowing only three hits.

While Moak was extremely stingy with allowing baserunners, Grant was very generous. Eight times JP10U batters reached base thanks to errors.  That along with the seven hits the locals accumulated led to six unearned runs and nine runs total in the first three innings. Leading the offense with two hits apiece was Cason Rogers, Hayden Essmeier and Raylon Bradford. Each scored a run as well. Noah Spillman reached base twice and scored twice while Jaxon Cheatwood got a hit and scored a run as well. Mason Thomas, Axel Coe and Waylon Sullivan accounted for the other runs.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 R H E
Grant 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8
Jackson Parish 2 4 3 0 0 x 9 7 2

RS – Spillman 2, Thomas, Rogers, Essmeier, Bradford, Cheatwood, Coe, Sullivan
RBI – Moak, Rogers, Essmeier
SB – Ponder, Spillman, Sullivan, Coe

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *