Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – The Northeast Tigers allowed too many crooked numbers on the scoreboard Thursday in a 14-4 loss to No. 1 Jones County in the opener of the MACJC State Tournament.
“We got off to a great start in the game, but the crooked numbers have killed us all year long,” Northeast head coach Kent Farris said. “Jones isn’t ranked as high as they are for nothing.
“And we didn’t do things to help ourselves.”
Barring the weather impacting the schedule, play continues today in the double-elimination format, with Northeast in the 10 a.m. losers bracket game against East Central. A winners bracket game is set for 1 p.m. with Jones versus Hinds.
Hinds defeated East Central 13-4 in the other opening round contest on Thursday.
Northeast (27-19) began on a positive note, as Trent Turner from Brandon belted a high and deep home run over the centerfield wall for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
A business-like Jones (41-8) got down to the business of responding in the bottom of the first, with a leadoff home run by Chris Morgan from Madison Central. In the second frame, Jones loaded the bases with one out and scored on a Trent Giambrone single.
Giambrone had five hits on the day.
“David Gibson didn’t have his good stuff today, but he battled,” said Farris of the Tigers starter, who pitched five innings. “Our pitching was behind in the count, not locating.
“I challenged our pitchers for tomorrow. We’re going to regroup and get after it.”
The matchup was tied 2-2 until the fifth inning.
Jones pulls away
Jones put the first four batters on base and scored three to take a 5-2 lead. Then the Bobcats acted like the No. 1 team in the nation in the sixth frame.
Jones sent 11 batters to the plate, scoring seven to break the contest open. Giambrone hit a two-run home run, with Joshua Pankratz from Taylorsville getting a two-run double as one of the other big hits.
All seven runs in the sixth were scored with two outs.
Northeast added a pair of runs in the seventh on a two-run single by Easton Hall from New Albany.
The winner of today’s losers bracket will take on the loser of today’s winner’s bracket today at 4 p.m. with the championship game or games set for Saturday beginning at noon, weather permitting.