The JHHS baseball and softball programs are on a similar path. Both are being led by new first year head coaches who took over teams that have been down trodden the last several years. Both now are enjoying a weekend of new found success.
JHHS 11 Lakeview 5 (Saturday) First-year head coach Zach Cheatwood had stated that after JHHS won their first game of the year against Arcadia, he felt that there would be more wins coming soon. It didn’t take long. Only four days later to be exact.
Continuing the remarkable turnaround of the season, Jonesboro-Hodge beat Lakeview 11-5 in their final game of the Saline Tournament on Saturday. After starting the season by losing their first four games by an average score of nearly 16 to 1, the Tigers have now won two of three, averaging ten runs a game while keeping their district 3-2A foe winless on the season after eight starts.
Buoyed by the suddenly explosive offensive attack that turned in a season-best six extra-base hits, including the first two triples of the year, the Tigers scored in every inning in the contest played at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex.
Alfonzo Calahan, who has raked three doubles in the last two games, led the Tigers at the plate by reaching base in all four at-bats on the strength of three hits and a walk. Duke Tew also came up big by going 2/4 which included a triple, knocking in three, and scoring a pair of runs. Waylon Evans also got on three times with two hits, one being a double, and drawing a walk that led to two runs scored and Trey Trosclair chipped in with two hits, including the Tiger’s second triple of the day, scoring two runs and getting an RBI. Jaden Qualls stroked a double for one of his two hits, knocked in a pair, and scored a run and Titus Thompson stroked a double for one of the Tigers’ six extra-base hits, scored twice, and ended with an RBI. Ajay Tew roped a triple and walked to score a run and took the victory on the mound to run his record to 2-1 on the season.
Lakeview (0-7) 0 0 3 0 2 – 5 7 0
JHHS (2-5) 2 1 1 2 5 – 11 13 0
WP – Tew (2-1), LP – Harris
2B – Calahan, Thompson, Qualls, Evans
3B – Trosclair, A. Tew
RBI – D. Tew 3, Calahan 2, Qualls 2, Trosclair, Thompson
RS – Evans 2, Trosclair 2, D. Tew 2, Thompson 2, A. Tew, Knox, Qualls
Ringgold 14 JHHS 9 (Friday) Newton’s law states that what goes up must come down. Coming off their first win of the year, JHHS rode the emotional high to post seven runs for the second time in their last three innings played to jump out to an 8-3 lead after 1 ½ innings of their first game of the Saline Tournament. Then came the crash.
Eleven walks and two hits later Ringgold had rallied from the five-run deficit to take a 14-8 lead in the bottom of the second of two Tigers hurlers. JHHS scored a run in the top of the third, but the lead held up as the game was called after three innings, dropping the Tigers to 1-5 on the year while Ringgold won their second in six starts.
JHHS struck first when Trey Trosclair walked, stole his way around to third, and came home on a Duke Tew single. Ringgold plated three in their half of the inning setting up the Tigers season tying best run-scoring at-bat of the year. Alfonso Calahan started the fireworks with a double, which was the first extra-base hit of the year for JHHS. Dakota Knox followed with a bunt single, and Titus Thompson tied the game at three each with a single. Trosclair singled and Waylon Evans walked to load the bases before Tew got his second RBI of the game with a two-out hit to give JHHS the lead at 4-3. M Baker followed with an RBI single and after Evans scored on a steal of home, Calahan cleared the bases with his second “two-bagger” of the contest to give the Tigers the 8-3 lead.
JHHS (1-5) 1 7 1 – 9 8 0
Ringgold (2-4) 3 11 x – 14 5 0
WP – Durr, LP – Ulloa
2B – Calahan 2
RBI – D. Tew 2, Calahan 2, Evans, Baker, Thompson
RS – Trosclair 2, Thompson 2, Evans, D. Tew, Baker, Calahan, Knox
JHHS 11 Arcadia 1 (Wednesday) Over the first four games of the Zach Cheatwood era, Jonesboro-Hodge showed signs of improvement in each of the contests. Still, after being “ten run” ruled in each game it looked as if it would be a while before they got ready to knock on victories door. This past Wednesday against Arcadia the Tigers didn’t knock. They knocked it down!
By pounding out 13 hits and stealing a new school record 22 bases, JHHS ran past the Hornets 11-1 in five innings to up their season record to 1-4. The performance was indeed impressive, especially considering that in the four games prior, the Tigers had accumulated only five singles and scored six runs, checking in with a paltry .091 team batting average. In this one alone JHHS had five PLAYERS get multiple hits, nearly tripling the season’s prior output. Add in the nine walks the Tiger batters coaxed, and that led to a lot of baserunners, 22 to be exact.
Getting that first win was sweet for Cheatwood who praised his team for continuing to work hard.
“As a team, getting the first win under our belt was big. The kid’s spirit was lifted and I believe this is just the start of more to come” said Cheatwood who also reflected on what it meant to him personally to get his first victory as a coach. “Getting my first win as a coach was surreal. It feels like just yesterday it was me playing. I thanked the guys for working hard and giving me my first ever win as a coach and that I would always remember this team because of that.”
Total team effort! All but one J-H batter got on base at least twice in the contest via a hit or a walk. Trey Trosclair (2RS) reached base the most, showing a keen eye to earn four walks. John Self (3 hits, RBI), Ajay (2 hits, BB, RS), and Duke Tew (2 hits, BB, 2RS, RBI) each got to first three times. Pierce Ulloa and Maquis Baker each chipped in with two hits, knocked in two, and scored a run. Jaden Qualls (RS) also got on twice with a hit and a walk while Waylan Evans (RS) drew two walks and Alfonzo Calahan got a hit, scored twice, and knocked in a run.
Tew Terrific! Not only did JHHS easily have their best offensive performance of the season, but so did Tiger ace Ajay Tew on the mound. In his two starts prior, the senior spin doctor had allowed 18 hits, walked 8, and given up a total of 21 runs of which 18 were earned in just eight innings of work. Improving his strike-to-pitch ratio from 56% (85-152) in the previous two games to 74% (51-70) on Wednesday, Tew held Arcadia to just three singles and struck out nine after fanning only four combined coming in.
Arcadia (0-2) 0 0 1 0 0 – 1 3 0
JHHS (1-4) 2 1 1 7 x – 11 13 0
WP – Tew (1-2), LP – Jackson (0-1)
RBI – Ulloa 2, Baker 2, D. Tew, Self
RS – Trosclair 2, Baker 2, D. Tew 2, A. Tew, Evans, Ulloa, Baker, Qualls
Lady Tigers win two straight
JHHS 24 Lakeview 11 (Saturday) A few games back, first year head coach Matthew Pearce commented that the “girls are starting to get it.” Not only have they gotten it but now they are giving it back as after tasting victory for the first time all season just a few hours prior the Lady Tigers dipped back into the winners well once again rallying from a 7-0 deficit with 13 runs in the bottom of the first leading to a season best run total.
Pearce was not only ecstatic following the victory but also very appreciative of his coaching staff for the work they are doing with the girls and the players for continuing to work hard through the rough start.
“I just want to say I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to come out and compete the way we did, stated Pearce. “To the extraordinary coaches (Coach Jackson, Coach Garsee, and Coach Anderson) we could not have done this without you! I also want to thank the phenomenal Lady Tigers of the JHHS Softball team who showed so much heart this weekend adapting to each play and each call of the game.”
Pearce also sent a reminder to his team.
“Young ladies, remember if we have faith, we can do the what is seemingly impossible to do. Let’s Go Lady Tigers!”
Every Lady Tiger that batted scored at least one run led by Pamela Cribbs who scored five after walking three times and slapping a single and a double. Kyla Hayes duplicated the effort sans one run and Zoie Anderson scored four times as well. Sierra Bond tallied three times with Alivia Anderson, A Ashcroft and Sky Dill all crossing home plate twice. Payge Christensen and Janiyah Walker, who led the Lady Tigers with 4 RBI, added a run each.
Lakeview (0-5) 7 0 1 2 1 – 11 6 5
JHHS (2-6) 13 1 6 4 x – 24 10 0
WP – Anderson (2-6), LP – Galliar
2B – Cribbs, Hayes, Walker
RBI – Walker 4, Christesen 2, Z. Anderson 2, Hayes, A. Anderson
RS – Cribbs 5, Hayes 4, Z. Anderson 4, Bond 3, A. Anderson 2, Ashcraft 2, Christesen, Walker, Dill, Qualls
JHHS 15 Ringgold 6 (Saturday) Over the past two seasons, JHHS won one game each year. Both had come against Ringgold. You can now make it three wins over the Lady Redskins as the Lady Tigers gave first year head coach Mathew Pearce his first career victory and JHHS snapped a 16 game losing streak that stretched back to nearly the same day last year and included the first six contests of this season.
After spotting Ringgold to a 3-0 lead, the Lady Tigers came storming back to score six in the bottom of the first. After winning pitcher Zoie Anderson held Ringgold scoreless in the second, JHHS blew it open by adding five more in their half of the inning and then added four more in the third.
JHHS pounded out 14 hits against Redskin pitching and gained another 10 runners via walks. The victory was a total team effort as Pamela Cribbs, Kyla Hayes, Sierra Bond, Anderson, Janiyah Walker and Alania Ashcraft all got two hits. Sky Dill and Payge Christesen added a hit each as well.
Ringgold (0-5) 3 0 3 – 6 6 4
JHHS (1-6) 6 5 4 – 15 14 1
WP – Z. Anderson (1-6), LP – Bates
2B – Z. Anderson
RS – Z. Anderson 3, Christesen 3, Bond 2, A. Anderson 2, Walker 2, Cribbs, Hayes, Ashcraft
Southwood 17 JHHS 1 (Saturday) Sometimes things happen where you just know that it isn’t going to be your day. That is what happened to Jonesboro-Hodge in the first of two games played in the Saline Tournament on Saturday that left the Tigers still searching for that elusive first victory of the year after six contests.
Something had to give as either JHHS or Southwood was going to win their first game of the year and the way the contest started it looked like this may be the game where JHHS got off the schneid. Riding the momentum of their best offensive output of the season the game before, Pamela Cribbs, Kyla Hayes and Sierra Bond all drew free passes to load the bases and had their top hitter in Zoie Anderson at the plate with no one out. Five pitches later the inning was over as Southwood turned a triple play and in doing so turned the emotional high into a demoralizing low that the young JHHS squad could never recover from as Southwood scored six in the bottom of the first and 11 more in the second to earn their first win of the season after starting with 11 straight losses. JHHS was held hitless, but Alivia Anderson scored a run on a passed ball in the second after getting plunked to open the frame and Payge Christesen and Manyah Jones walked.
JHHS (0-6) 0 1 0 – 1 0 2
SHS (1-11) 6 11 x – 17 7 1
WP – Barrano, LP – Anderson
RS – Anderson
Red River 16 JHHS 14 (Thursday) A furious last inning rally came up just short as the Lady Tigers fell in the district 3-2A opener for both teams. Down by a scores of 13-5 and 16-8 heading into the final frame, JHHS pushed six runs across in their final at bat to get to within two and had a chance to tie but had two runners cut down at the plate.
The offensive output was especially impressive considering that JHHS had scored only 8 runs in the previous four games combined and continued the improvement that has been evident in every game of Mathew Pearce’s first year at the helm.
“The girls are starting to get it,” said Pearce. “They played a heck of a game and are continuing to work hard.”
JHHS pounded out 15 hits against coaxed 13 walks against Red River pitching with Pam Cribbs and ReRe Atkins paced the offense with three hits apiece while Janiyah Walker and Zoie Anderson each rapped two singles. Kyla Hayes, Page, Marnah Jones, Sky Dill and Sierra Bond all chipped in with a hit as JHHS pounded out 15 hits against coaxed 13 walks against Red River pitching for their best offensive performance of the year to date.
JHHS (0-5, 0-1) 0 2 0 1 2 3 8 – 14 12 3
RRHS (2-3, 1-0) 2 3 2 3 3 3 x – 16 8 0
WP – Bryn, LP – Anderson (0-5)
RS – Z. Anderson 3, Hayes 2, A. Anderson 2, Cribbs 2, Waker, Ashcraft, Jones, Dill, Bond