Rhodes' walkoff home run lifts Bobcats to 6-5 victory over LSU-Eunice
Written By: Shawn Wansley
Email Address: email@example.com
Date Submitted: 2011-05-22 01:12:12
By Shawn Wansley
JCJC Sports Information Director
GOODMAN – Ladd Rhodes hit a one-out, two-run, walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the 12th Jones County Junior College Bobcats to a stunning, 6-5 victory over the second-ranked LSU-Eunice Bengals in the Region 23 Tournament here Saturday afternoon at Charlie Donald Field on the campus of Holmes Community College.
The victory gave the Bobcats a 41-15 record and dropped LSU-Eunice to 43-16. A “winner take all” championship game will follow in 30 minutes to determine the tournament champion. The winners heads to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., on May 28-June 4.
The Bobcats never led in the game until Rhodes’ blast, which was his first home run of the season.
The Bengals had broken a 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth with a couple of tough-luck plays against JCJC.
First, Dalton Herrington hit a deep drive to rightfield. Bobcat rightfielder Darion Hamilton reached over the fence and almost caught the ball. But it fell back into the field of play and Herrington reached third on a triple.
Sam Carriere then came to the plate with the infield pulled in and hit a little chopper that barely went over third baseman Chase Headrick’s outstretched glove into leftfield for an RBI single to make it 5-4.
In the bottom of the inning, LSU-Eunice brought in ace reliever Kaleb Manuel, who had nine saves entering the game.
Graham Odom greeted him with a single to left and Zach Allen – who was 4-for-4 until up until then – sacrificed him to second.
Rhodes then stepped to the plate and promptly drilled a ‘no doubt’ two-run blast, well over the rightfield wall and the Bobcat players and fans went crazy.
Blake McIlwain gave the Bobcats a tremendous effort as a starter. He pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowed 11 hits, walked two and struck out seven. Chase Stewart entered in the top of the ninth, got the final out and was credited with the victory by retiring the only batter he faced. He is now 2-1.
The Bengals took a 1-0 lead in the first when leadoff batter Matthew Richard singled, Carriere was hit by a pitch, the runners advanced on a passed ball and Zac Hawkins’ groundout scored Richard.
LSU-Eunice made it 2-0 in the second. Stuart Turner singled with two outs, Tyler Theriot walked and Richard’s single scored Turner.
The Bobcats broke through in the fourth when Nick Ray launched a home run over the rightfield wall to make it 2-1.
The Bengals took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Wet Delatte reached on a two-out error and Hommy Rosado doubled him home.
JCJC would tie the game in the fifth when Ryan Roberts led off with a walk and Chad Guice doubled. Odom’s groundout scored Roberts and Alled ripped an RBI single to right to make it 3-3.
LSU-Eunice took a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Turner led off with a single, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Richard’s sacrifice fly to right.
JCJC would tie it at 4-4 in the seventh. Allen led off with his fourth hit of the game – a single to right. Rhodes sacrificed him to second, Perna walked and Ray drilled a run-scoring single to right.
That set the state for the ninth-inning dramatics.
Allen had three singles and a double for JCJC, while Ray homered and singled and Rhodes homered. Odom singled twice, while Guice doubled. Hamilton and Headrick singled.
Manuel went the final 1/3 of an inning and took his first loss of the year. He is now 1-1. He gave up two runs and two hits. Starter Ben Carter went 4 2/3 innings, allowed three runs, seven hits, walked three and struck out two. Luke Creech went 4 1/3 innings, allowed one run, three hits, walked one and struck out two.
Rosado doubled and singled, while Richard and Turner had two singles each for LSU-Eunice. Herrington tripled, while Hawkins and Theriot each doubled. Carriere and Jacque Fruge each singled.
Jones County 6, LSU-Eunice 5
LSU-Eunice (43-16) 110 011 001 – 5 11 0
Jones County (41-15) 000 120 002 – 6 11 2
Ben Carter, Luke Creech (5), Kaleb Manuel (9) and Stuart Turner. Blake McIlwain, Chase Stewart (9) and Ryan Roberts. WP-Stewart (2-1). LP-Manuel (1-1). LSU-Eunice hitters: Hommy Rosado 2B, 1B; Matthew Richard 2 1B; Stuart Turner 2 1B; Dalton Herrington 3B; Zac Hawkins 2B; Tyler Theriot 2B; Sam Carriere 1B; Jacque Fruge 1B. JCJC hitters: Zach Allen 3 1B, 2B; Nick Ray HR, 1B; Graham Odom 2 1B; Ladd Rhodes 2B; Chad Guice 2B; Darion Hamilton 1B; Chase Headrick 1B. T-2:35.
Region 23 Tournament
At Holmes Community College
Charlie Donald Field
Game 1, LSU-Eunice 2, Northwest 1
Game 2, Holmes 5, Jones County 4
Game 3, Jones County 6, Northwest 0
Game 4, LSU-Eunice 10, Holmes 6
Game 5, Jones County 11, Holmes 5
Game 6, Jones County 6, LSU-Eunice 5
Game 7, Jones County vs. LSU-Eunice, 5:15 p.m.