Bobcats claim pair of one-run victories over Sun Chiefs

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2011-02-15 20:24:18

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – If you love close baseball games, Community Bank Park is the place to be.

Chad Guice’s two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Zach Allen and gave the homestanding Jones County Junior College Bobcats a 4-3 victory over Faulkner State Community College (Ala.) in game two of a doubleheader here Tuesday.

In the opener, Jarrett Jenkins scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a balk to give JCJC a 2-1 decision. The Bobcats had tied the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning when Vito Perna blasted a home run over the left field wall – the first-ever home run in Community Bank Park.

The sweep gives the Bobcats a 4-1 mark on the young season, with three of those wins coming by one run. JCJC has now won four straight contests.

The Bobcats will host the Southeastern Community College (Iowa) Blackhawks at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Game two of the doubleheader at approximately 4 p.m. will air on with Lance Pittman on the call.

Faulkner State, 1-4, hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Feb. 22.

Bobcats 2, Sun Chiefs 1 (9 innings)

Jenkins led off the bottom of the ninth with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by Allen. Perna was then intentionally walked. Jay Bell’s grounder advanced the runners a base.

Hernandez then went to take his stretch, flinched with the baseball and was called for a balk, allowing Jenkins to come home.

Faulkner State’s first batter of the game, Austin Curtis, reached base on an infield single, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on a single by Tyler Hayes. But that would be all of the runs they could muster off of JCJC starter Andrew Pierce.

Pierce allowed a leadoff triple in the third to Kevin Cruz, but got out of the inning with the help of a big defensive play when third baseman Chase Headrick gunned down Cruz at home on a grounder.

Pierce then would retire 11 straight and 16 out of 17 Sun Chiefs at one point.

The Bobcats, meanwhile, had several chances to tie the game through the first six innings. They left two runners on in both the first, second and sixth innings and left the bases loaded in the third. They stranded 10 runners in the game.

Faulkner State reliever Joseph Hernandez had entered the game in the bottom of the sixth with two outs and recorded a strikeout. He had a strikeout to open the seventh before Perna unloaded over the left field wall.

Ryan Waters replaced Pierce to start the ninth and gave up a walk to Dustin Evans. Evans was sacrificed to second and tried to score when Hayes singled to right. But Guice fielded the ball quickly and fired to Roberts at home plate.

Hayes tried to make it back to third, but Roberts threw to Headrick, who applied the tag for the second out. Waters then fanned Douglas Turo to end the inning and set the stage for the bottom of the ninth.

Waters (2-0) went the final inning and got the win, giving up a hit, a walk and a strikeout. Pierce went the first eight innings, allowed one run, six hits, walked none and struck out eight.

Perna singled twice in addition to hitting a home run. Headrick had a double, while Allen, Roberts, Graham Odom and Jenkins had singles.

Hernandez went the final three innings, gave up two hits, walked one, struck out six and was charged with the loss. Micha Grissim started, went 2 2/3 innings, allowed no runs and got a strikeout. But he gave up three hits and walked four. Jodarius Boykin went three innings in middle relief, gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two.

Curtis and Hayes each had three singles for Faulkner State and Cruz tripled.

Bobcats 4, Sun Chiefs 3

Both teams had their chances to score more runs in game two, but JCJC came up with the timely hit in the bottom of the seventh.

Allen was hit by a pitch to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Odom. Perna was intentionally walked and Hamilton grounded out to advance the runners.

Guice then came up and got his third hit of the game, a single to right, to win it for JCJC.

The Bobcats had taken a 3-0 lead in the second when Hamilton, Guice and Headrick each singled to load the bases. After a strikeout, Roberts came through with a two-run single to right. A Jenkins’ fielder’s choice scored Headrick with the inning’s third run.

The Sun Chiefs answered with two runs in the third. Llyod Negus reached on an infield single and Curtis walked. A two-run double to left-center by Cruz made it 3-2.

Faulkner State tied it in the sixth when Turo walked and stole second. Josh Palmer entered in relief of starter Blake McIlwain at this point.

Richburg then attempted a sacrifice. Palmer cleanly fielded the ball, but threw it away down the rightfield line. That allowed Turo to score and Richburg advanced to third with no outs.

After Josh Pyeatt walked, Phillip McDuffie topped a grounder in front of home plate. Palmer fielded the ball and tossed to Roberts, who made the tag for the first out. Palmer then got Walker on a fielder’s choice and Curtis on a fly ball to center to escape any further damage.

McIlwain started and went five-plus innings. He gave up two runs, six hits, walked two and struck out four. Palmer (1-1) went the final two innings and got the win. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out two.

Guice singled twice and tripled to lead the Bobcats at the plate, while Hamilton, Headrick and Roberts added singles.

Dylan Stamey went 2 2/3 innings in relief and was charged with the loss. He allowed just the one hit, struck out four, walked one and hit one. Starter Matt Frye pitched four innings, allowed five hits, walked one and struck out three.

Cruz doubled and singled twice for the Sun Chiefs, while Walker singled twice. Richburg added a double and Turo and Hayes had singles.



Game 1

Jones County 2, Faulkner State 1 (9 innings)

Faulkner State (1-3)             100 000 000 – 1 7 0

Jones County (3-1)                         000 000 101 – 2 8 0

Micha Grissim, Jodarius Boykin (3), Joseph Hernandez (6) and Phillip McDuffie; Andrew Pierce, Ryan Waters (9) and Ryan Roberts. WP-Waters (2-0). LP-Hernandez. Hitters – Faulkner State: Austin Curtis 3 1B; Tyler Hayes 3 1B; Kevin Cruz 3B. JCJC: Vito Perna 2 1B, HR; Chase Headrick 2B; Zach Allen 1B; Ryan Roberts 1B; Graham Odom 1B; Jarrett Jenkins 1B. T-2:17.


Game 2

Jones County 4, Faulkner State 3

Faulkner State (1-4)            002 001 0 – 3 8 2

Jones County (4-1)                        030 000 1 – 4 6 2

Matt Frye, Dylan Stamey (5) and Kyle Turner, Phillip McDuffie (4); Blake McIlwain, Josh Palmer (6) and Ryan Roberts. WP-Palmer (1-1). LP-Stamey. Hitters – Faulkner State: Kevin Cruz 2 1B, 2B; Will Walker 2 1B; Tyler Richburg 2B; Tyler Hayes 1B; Douglas Turo 1B. JCJC: Chad Guice 3B, 2 1B; Darion Hamilton 1B; Chase Headrick 1B; Ryan Roberts 1B. T-2:07.


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