Friday, April 21, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville cruises against Warriors

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Titan baseball team had little trouble with Hall High Wednesday in a 5A/6A Central conference doubleheader. The Titans won by scores of 11-1 in five innings in game one, and 20-1 in three innings in the nightcap.

Game one’s total came despite only eight base hits. Nine-hole hitter Gabe Helsley’s plate appearances told the story.

He finished with no official at-bats, walked three times and scored three runs for a 1.000 on-base percentage.

Every Titan got on base at least twice. Jordan Wickersham also had a perfect on-base percentage, going 1 for 1 with three walks.

Jacksonville scored its first and only run of the first inning after Kameron Whitmore drew a leadoff walk, and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly to deep right field by Caden Sample.

Quentin Stallard was hit and Helsley walked to lead off the second inning. They came around on a series of passed balls and wild pitches before scoring on a sac grounders by Caleb Smith and Trent Toney.

Joe Cummings provided the highlight of the game with a two-run home run in the third inning. Sample hit a leadoff double and Wickersham walked before Cummings dinger.

That made the score 6-0, and Jacksonville added two in the fourth and three in the fifth to set the final margin.

Trent Toney hit a double to start the fourth inning. He scored two batters later on Wickersham’s base hit. He later scored on an error.

In the fifth inning, two walks, three hit batters and singles by Smith, Toney and Jayden Loving set the final margin.

There was no slow-building lead in game two. The Titans (11-11, 6-6) scored 10 runs in the first inning, including a three-run home run by Sample.

Whitmore reached on an error and Smith walked. Toney then doubled to drive in one run, and Sample’s shot followed for a quick 4-0 lead.

The next three batters all walked before Stallard hit into a 1-2-3 double play, but Helsley got the rally going again with an RBI base hit.

It was the first of four singles in a row, one each by Whitmore, Smith and Toney followed Helsley’s knock and made the score 8-0. Sample reached on an error at first base that allowed two more runs for a 10-0 margin.

Cummings got a base hit to start a 10-run second inning. Stallard was hit and Helsley walked to load the bases. Whitmore singled, followed by three more consecutive walks. Wickersham singled and Loving doubled. Cummings was hit and Stallard singled to drive in the final runs of the game.

Whitmore, Smith and Toney had two hits apiece to lead the way offensively.

Loving pitched game one. He gave up three hits with six strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work. Ean Long got the win in game two with three strikeouts and two walks.

Hall dropped to 3-12 overall and 1-10 in league play.