Tigers fall to Henrietta, 8-2
GRAFORD — With a playoff spot still hanging in the balance, Jacksboro’s baseball team began putting its nose to the grindstone and playing solid baseball en route to winning three games in a row.
Friday, the Tigers began reverting back to old ways, making three errors and picking up just four hits. The Tigers stayed in the game with Henrietta for five innings, however, until a late-inning eruption from the Bearcats allowed the squad an 8-2 win over Jacksboro.
With the loss, the Tigers slip to 5-7 in District 9-3A and 8-14 overall while Henrietta, which is hanging on to a postseason thread as well, ups its ledger to 7-5 and 11-12. Jacksboro Mentor Blake Belcher said it was a shame watching his team revert back to old ways.
“I’m not sure if it was nerves or what, but we were just not very good today,” Belcher said following the just under two-hour game. “Our pitching struggled today and when it does, our hitting and defense have to step and up and we didn’t.”
The ‘Cats got on the board with help from a Jacksboro miscue in the first. Camden Bennett stroked a one-out single to right and stole second. With two gone, a throw to third to get Bennett went into left field as the 3rd baseman slipped on the turf, allowing the run to score. A strikeout by starter Clay Botello ended the threat.
Jacksboro, as it has much of the year, had problems with getting a timely hit as well throughout the game.
A Zach Hamm single, a wild pitch and walk to Payton Laake put runners at second and third with two out in the second. The pair would remain stranded as a groundout to third ended the threat.
The Tigers threatened in the third with a two-out single and error putting Trey Pruitt on second base. He would remain there as a fly to center ended the inning.
Henrietta struck for another run in the fourth. Jacksboro threatened, opening the frame with walks to Botello and Hamm. Botello was retired at third on the fielder’s choice in place of Luke Dixon who was erased on a 6-4-3 double play ball to keep the Tigers off the board.
A two-out rally in the Bearcat 5th brought another run home for a 3-0 lead. Henrietta left the bases full as reliever Ty Kennedy got out of the jam with a grounder back to him.
Jacksboro got on the board in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally of its own. Kennedy drew a 4-pitch walk and moved to third as Trey Pruitt stroke a double.
A fly ball to center was lost in the sun by the center fielder, plating both runs and putting Hunter Drennan aboard. A 2nd fly out to center was handled, ending the inning down just 3-2.
The ‘Cats would strike for three runs in the 6th and two in the seventh, coming through with five of their 10 hits in the final two innings. Jacksboro would again hang in there.
Fernando Piedra opened the 7th with a walk with Lathan Lowrance stroking a single. A one-out walk to Pruitt loaded the sacks. A comeback wasn’t to be as the next two hitters were retired to end the game.