The Jacksonville Red Devils went into Friday’s double-header with Little Rock Christian riding a 14-game winning streak, but were shocked by dropping both to the Warriors at Dupree Park.
Jacksonville lost the first game 1-0, and then lost a bizarre 8-7 decision in the nightcap.
The opening game was a matchup of ace pitchers, with Derek St. Clair on the hill for the Red Devils. The Warriors scored their lone run in the first inning when the leadoff hitter singled, moved to second a batter later, and then scored on a two-out single to right. That happened Thursday night before rain moved in and postponed the rest of the games until Friday.
St. Clair went the full seven innings, giving up just three hits while fanning 10 and walking five.
The second game was an odd one for Jacksonville in that they didn’t score in ten of the 11 innings the game went to, plus a collection of uncharacteristic outfield errors.
The Red Devils fell behind 4-0 by the fifth inning, but came back with a vengeance in the sixth inning, scoring all seven of their runs for a 7-4 lead.
Christian scored two of their early runs off of outfield errors, and then tied the game in the seventh inning thanks to another error in the outfield.
Jacksonville’s outfield had gained a reputation as one of the best in the state before the off night.
James Tucker got the start for Jacksonville, with Kaleb Reeves coming in to pitch relief and taking the loss in extra innings.
The pair of losses hurts the Red Devils as it puts them in a tie for first with the Warriors, but gives the Warriors the tiebreaker for the top seed in the conference. Jacksonville will be hosting the Class 5A State Tournament, but will need a miracle to get the top seed.
Jacksonville still has a double-header remaining with a solid Pulaski Academy team and could fall out of the top two spots with another loss. Little Rock Christian only has games left against the bottom teams in the conference.