South Jones opened Region 5-5A with a win Friday night, defeating Wayne County 9-4 at home in Eillisville.
Both teams have entered competition full speed ahead with four games played in the last calendar week, but Friday night’s contest had a bit more significance, marking the beginning of region competition in which teams will fight for position to reach their postseason hopes and dreams.
The War Eagles battled valiantly to overcome an early deficit, but in the Braves were not to be denied in the region opener in front of their home crowd.
The most significant stretch for the Braves came midway through the contest when they tacked on seven runs in two innings. Tyler Ducksworth brought a run with a fourth inning double, followed by an additional two RBIs resulting from a shot to left field by Ben Welch to bust the game open in South Jones’ favor.
Unwilling to go down without a fight, the War Eagles battled in the seventh inning to earn three runs. Brenon Sehon placed a nice hit into a right field gap to bring in a run before stealing two bases to set himself up for a run of his own.
Looking to put away the feisty War Eagles without surrendering any more runs, the Braves went to their bullpen to have Reid Golemon close out the contest in the seventh, which he was able to do successfully.
Max Sharp picked up the win on the mound for South Jones, his second of the year, pitching six and two-thirds innings and allowing three hits and striking out six.
Bryson Sumrall went a perfect three for three at the plate against the War Eagles, and he crossed home plate each time for three runs for the Braves.
Now 3-4 on the season and 1-0 in district play, the Braves will turn their attention back to non-district play with two tournament appearances awaiting them over spring break. Weather permitting, the group will be back on the diamond tomorrow afternoon at Northeast Jones High School to take on the Richton Rebels.
(Article written by Brad Crowe)