The Jacksonville Red Devil baseball team lost a close one, 13-12 to league-leader Little Rock Christian in a tune up to Thursday’s Class 5A State Tournament at Nettleton.
Jacksonville had the fourth seed from the 5A-Central wrapped up last week after a split with Pulaski Academy. The final regular season game with the Warriors was scheduled for Monday to give both teams a little extra work.
With neither team pitching their aces, that extra work meant plenty of work for the bats. Jacksonville fell behind 9-1 early in the game, but came roaring back late.
The Red Devils scored five runs in the fifth inning thanks to six consecutive hits by D.J. Scott, David Williams, Brandon Hickingbotham, Courtland McDonald, Derek St. Claire and Kaleb Reeves.
Jacksonville took the lead in the sixth inning with Scott again getting things started with a single. Williams, McDonald and St. Claire also each had singles again in the inning. A two-run single by Greg Jones was followed by a two-run triple by Ryan Mallison with one out that gave the Red Devils a 12-9 lead.
The Red Devils were unable to tack on any more runs as a pop out and ground out left Mallison stranded at third.
The Warriors came back in the bottom of the seventh inning to steal the win away from the Devils. Some control problems on the mound for Jacksonville, coupled with a couple timely hits by Little Rock Christian tied the game with two outs with Warriors on first and third.
Little Rock Christian was able to draw a pick off throw to first on a walking steal, putting the runner in a run-down just long enough to give the runner on third a chance to score.
Jacksonville will take those lessons learned from mental mistakes as they try to upset the Harrison Goblins Thursday at 5 p.m. at Nettleton High School. Harrison finished their season undefeated in conference as the champs of the 5A-West.