Holmes edges No. 12 Bobcats 5-4 in Region 23 Tournament

Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: shawn.wansley@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2011-05-19 22:10:08

By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

GOODMAN – The Holmes Community College Bulldogs were not so friendly hosts as they beat the 12th-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats 5-4 here Thursday night in the Region 23 Tournament at Charlie Donald Field.

The Bulldogs broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth with two outs when they scored the winning run on a passed ball.

The Bobcats loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and got a leadoff single to start the ninth, but could not score.

Andrew Pierce went the distance and pitched well for the Bobcats, allowing just three earned runs. But he was saddled with his second loss of the season.

Holmes’ Brandon Byars entered in the fourth inning in relief and shut out the Bobcats for the final 5 2/3 innings and got the win.

The Bobcats are now 38-15, while Holmes is 31-19.

JCJC will now face Northwest Mississippi Community College at 11 a.m. on Friday in an elimination game. The Rangers dropped a 2-1 decision to second-ranked LSU-Eunice earlier in the day.

The Bengals did not get a hit until the sixth inning, but then got a pair of singles and took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to plate both runs in that inning. The Rangers scored a run in the ninth inning.

Holmes meets LSU-Eunice at 2:30 p.m. in a winner’s bracket game. The JCJC/Northwest winner faces the Holmes/LSU-Eunice loser at 6 p.m. in another elimination game.

The tournament is scheduled to conclude on Saturday. The Region 23 Tournament winner advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., May 28-June 4.

Bulldogs 5, Bobcats 4

Holmes came out quickly against the Bobcats.

Jayson Keel reached on an error to start the game in the top of the first and was sacrificed to second by Reggie O’Briant. Rafiel Johnson then delivered an RBI single to make it 1-0.

The Bulldogs increased the lead to 3-0 in the third with a two-out rally. Jermaine Liggins doubled to left-center and Josh Crowder reached on an infield single to put runners on first and third. Jocobby Robinson then bunted for an RBI single, but the ball was thrown away, past first base and into the rightfield corner, which allowed Crowder to score.

JCJC got on the board in the third when Ryan Roberts led off with a walk. After Chad Guice lined out sharply to third, Graham Odom singled. The runners were advanced on a balk.

Zach Allen then hit a sacrifice fly to left, which scored Roberts. Odom went to third on the play, but the Bulldogs appealed that he had left second base too soon after the catch and he was called out.

The Bobcats would then take the lead with a three-run, bottom of the fourth.

Ladd Rhodes led off with a bunt that was thrown away and allowed him to reach second. Vito Perna then ripped a single. Nick Ray’s flyball to left advanced Perna to second.

Darion Hamilton then singled up the middle. The ball hit the second base bag and trickled into centerfield. Hamilton would get a two-RBI single to tie the game at 3-3. Chase Headrick then doubled to right-center to score Hamilton and give JCJC a 4-3 lead.

Holmes then went to the bullpen and brought Byars in to replace Johnson, the starter. He got a pair of flyouts to end the inning.

The Bulldogs would tie the game in the fifth. Johnson reached on a one-out walk and stole second. Liggins reached on an infield hit to put runners on first and third. Josh Crowder then executed the safety squeeze to score Johnson and make it 4-4.

Holmes would score the eventual winning run without a hit.

Trennis Grant was ruled to be hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth. He was sacrificed to second by Caleb Kellum. Keel then struck out, but Grant stole third on the play. He would score on a passed ball.

Meanwhile, Byars retired 11 of the first 12 Bobcat batters he faced until Allen led off the eighth with a double. After a groundout, Perna was intentionally walked. After a popup for the second out, Hamilton reached on an error to load the bases, but Byars got Headrick to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Roberts led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrett Jenkins. But Jenkins was caught stealing and Byars retired the next two batters to end the game.

Pierce, 10-2, scattered seven hits, struck out 10 and walked three.

Hamilton singled twice, while Headrick and Allen each doubled. Perna, Roberts and Odom had singles.

Byars went 5 2/3 innings, allowed no runs, three hits, walked one and struck out two. Johnson started, went 3 1/3 innings, gave up four runs (three earned), four hits, walked one and struck out none.

Liggins singled twice and doubled for Holmes. Johnson, Crowder, Robinson and Kellum each singled.



Holmes 5, Jones County 4

Holmes (31-19)                      102 010 001 – 5 7 2

Jones County (38-15)            001 300 000 – 4 7 2

Rafiel Johnson, Brandon Byars (4) and Jared Rutland. Andrew Pierce and Ryan Roberts. WP-Byars. LP-Pierce. Holmes hitters: Jermaine Liggins 2 1B, 2B; Johnson 1B; Josh Crowder 1B; Jocobby Robinson 1B; Caleb Kellum 1B. JCJC hitters: Darion Hamilton 2 1B; Zach Allen 2B; Chase Headrick 2B; Vito Perna 1B; Ryan Roberts 1B; Graham Odom 1B. T-2:28.




Region 23 Tournament

At Holmes Community College

Charlie Donald Field

Thursday’s results

Game 1, LSU-Eunice 2, Northwest 1

Game 2, Holmes 5, Jones County 4

Friday’s games

Game 3, Northwest vs. Jones County, 11 a.m.

Game 4, LSU-Eunice vs. Holmes, 2:30 p.m.

Game 5, Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 6 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Game 6, Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 2 p.m.

Game 7, if necessary, 30 minutes after Game 6

Winner advances to NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla.



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