Friday, March 31, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Bears get sweep at JHS

Speacial to the leader

The Jacksonville baseball Titans and the Sylvan Hills Bears faced off at Dupree Park Tuesday in a conference doubleheader. The Bears came away victorious in both, with wins of 14-4 and 10-0. Both games ended after six innings, with the run rule taking effect. The wins give Sylvan Hills a record of 17-2 overall and 6-0 in conference play. The Titans are 8-8 and 2-4 in conference.

“They were good games for us,” Sylvan Hills coach Denny Tipton commented. “The deal is, we pitched better today. The last couple of outings we’ve had, somewhere we’ve walked too many. But, I thought we pitched well. I thought we played good defense, and I thought we took advantage of their mistakes offensively.”

Jacksonville scored first in game one as Caleb Smith led off the bottom of the first with a double to deep right field, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a ground ball to second by Jayden Loving.

The Bears took the lead in the top of the third. Kyle Clayton walked to lead things off, moved to second on a passed ball, and stole third. He scored on a triple by Zachary Douglass, who then scored when Nick Fakouri reached base on a dropped ball in the Titan outfield. The Bears loaded the bases on a walk and hit batter, and Fakouri scored on a passed ball before the third out was made. Three runs had crossed the plate for a score of 3-1.

Sylvan Hills added seven runs in the fourth to take a 10-1 advantage.

Two walks were drawn to start things off, then Spencer Zilkey drove in the first run with a base hit up the middle. Michael Coven reached on a bunt base hit, followed by a hit by Douglass to drive in a run. Fakouri drove in two with a hit to left field.

Another run scored when the throw went into left field on a double steal, and Fakouri scored on a wild pitch. Chaz Poppy was hit by pitch, made his way to third on a passed ball and a steal, and scored on a base hit to shallow right by Caleb McMunn for the seventh run of the frame.

Caden Sample and Quentin Stallard each had hits for the Titans in the bottom of the inning, but did not score.

Douglass and Fakouri each had doubles and scored in the top of the fifth for the Bears to stretch the lead to 12-1.

Jacksonville came back to score three in the bottom of the inning to extend the game. Jonathan Smith reached on a walk, Gabe Helsley doubled down the left field line, followed by an infield hit by Caleb Smith. All three scored to make the score 12-4 at the end of five innings.

Poppy and Zilkey each singled and scored for Sylvan Hills in the top of the sixth, and although the Titans loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, Connor Beeching came in to pitch for the Bears and retired three to end the game with a score of 14-4.

“I thought we competed with the stick,” said Jacksonville coach Larry Burrows. “We didn’t throw enough strikes tonight. They’re a great club. They’re put together well. They’re put together to take advantage of some things we don’t do well. We’ve obviously got to pitch better to play with them. We did at times, but not enough. Offensively, I thought we had some tough breaks. I thought we did a good job against their two pitchers. Their pitchers are good.”

In the second game, it took six innings for the Bears to score ten runs while holding Jacksonville scoreless. Sylvan Hills had only five hits, but eight walks and three hit by pitches provided more base runners, eight of which scored.

River Hunt had a double with the bases loaded in the third inning to clear the bases, but was thrown out at third after a throw to the plate. Zilkey scored the only run in the fourth frame as he walked, stole second, and scored when the throw from the catcher went into left field as he attempted to steal third base.

The Bears only needed one run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game. McMunn led off with a walk, Jason Neeley had a pinch hit single, and Douglass a base hit to load the bases with two outs. Fakouri hit a hard grounder to the Titan third baseman who could not make the play, and the winning run crossed the plate.

Douglass led Sylvan Hills in hits for the night with four for both games and five runs scored. Fakouri had three hits in the first game and scored a total of four runs. Zilkey had a total of three hits and scored four runs. Caleb Smith led the Titans with two hits and two runs scored, all in game one.

The Bears lost two games last Thursday to break up its perfect season after 12-straight wins. They beat North Little Rock 6-5 on Thursday to run a new streak to five games.