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JACKSONVILLE BASEBALL

The Jacksonville Red Devils hit the diamond this past week with tough games against some stiff competition.

Jacksonville played their first game of the season Thursday at Cabot’s new baseball facilities, losing 4-3 to the Panthers. On Saturday, Jacksonville began the Red Devil Classic against a solid Beebe Badger team and picked up the first win of the season, 3-1. The Red Devils came back Monday night against Searcy, falling to the Lions’ ace 4-2.

Against Cabot, Jacksonville found themselves down 3-0 heading into the fourth inning. After two quick outs, the Red Devils got the offense going with a David Williams single. A single followed that from Greg Jones and a walk to Justin Abbot.

Blake Perry reached on an error that allowed Williams, Jones and Abbot to score and tie the game at 3-3.

Jacksonville fell behind in the bottom of the sixth after a double, sacrifice bunt and single. The Devils tried to fight back in the top of the seventh with a one-out single from Perry, but a double play ended the game.

Jacksonville played their first home game of the season Saturday, with Perry winning a pitcher’s duel 3-1 against Beebe.

Courtland McDonald gave the Red Devils an early lead after drawing a walk, stealing second, and later scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jones in the first inning.

Beebe pushed a run across in the second inning, but Jacksonville came back with two more in the fourth inning to set the final margin. Derek St. Clair started the rally with a walk, followed by singles from Jones and James Tucker.

The Red Devils fell 4-2 in Monday’s semifinal game against Searcy. Jacksonville got a run after an error and three walks in the fourth inning, but also struck out nine times over those four innings. Searcy scored two in the fourth inning; one in the fifth and one more insurance run in the sixth inning.

Brandon Hickingbotham reached on a walk and scored in the bottom of the seventh inning for Jacksonville, but a runner caught stealing and a ground out stranded a pair of runners to end the game.

Jacksonville will have a rematch against the Cabot Panthers Thursday at 4:00 on the final day of the Classic. Cabot fell to Little Rock Central Tuesday night.

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