Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Bad outing for Titan baseball

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville baseball team blew a 7-3 lead in a nonconference game at Batesville on Friday and lost 15-9. The Pioneers out-hit Jacksonville 15-7, but the Titans drew eight walks and Batesville committed four errors. The score was tied 8-8 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Pioneers scored seven runs to take control.

Jacksonville loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh inning, but a shallow pop-up to right field by Caleb Smith was followed by a Greg Helsley strikeout.

Kameron Whitmore was able to drive in one run with a base hit to third base, but a Caden Sample’s fly ball to center field ended the rally and the game.

All seven Batesville runs in the sixth came with two outs. A walk and a single started the inning. The next two batters grounded out, but an error by Quentin Stallard allowed one run to score. Ean Long walked the next two batters before giving up back-to-back doubles and then a single that made it 14-8.

Trent Toney took the mound for Jacksonville and gave up a single and back-to-back walks to give the Pioneers their final run.

Jacksonville scored first in the top of the first inning after Smith’s fly ball to center field was mishandled, allowing Smith to get all the way to third base. He was still there after a pair of strikeouts, but Sample singled to left for the 1-0 lead.

Batesville (7-15) opened the bottom of the first with three-straight singles to tie the game. A sac fly by Tanner Vinson gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead. Hayden Childers then came through a double that made it 3-1.

Jacksonville (9-11) took the lead right back in the top of the second with four runs. Jordan Wickersham hit a leadoff single and Stallard singled with one out. Jayden Loving was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Smith single to drive in Wickersham. Batesville left fielder Ronnie Jeffrey whiffed on the ball trying to scoop it up, allowing Stallard and Loving to also score on the play.

Smith then scored on a passed ball for a 5-3 Titan lead.

In the top of the third, Stallard hit a two-RBI single that made it 7-3 after walks by Toney and Joe Cummings.

Two singles and a double got the Pioneers back to within 7-6 in the bottom of the third. The Pioneers took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with another single and a double.

Another Batesville error let Jacksonville tie the game in the fifth before the disastrous sixth inning.

Tristan Tate led all players with three hits in five at-bats. He scored three runs and drove in another. Jeffrey, Childers, Brayden Alveti, Logan Holman and Taylor Ford each had two base hits for the home team.

Sample and Stallard were the only Titans with multiple hits. Each had one RBI. Foster Rash started on the mound and threw four innings for the no decision.

He gave up 10 hits and six earned runs. Ean Long took the loss, leaving with two outs in the sixth after allowing seven earned runs on five hits and three walks.

Ford started for Batesville. He gave up seven runs, four earned, on five hits, three strikeouts and three walks. Vinson threw the last three innings to pick up. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and five walks.

Jacksonville hosted a conference doubleheader against Hall on Tuesday. Look for details of that game in Saturday’s Leader.