South Jones broke .500 for the just time this season.
Despite getting outhit by Taylorsville, South Jones picked up its fifth win with a 6-4 decision Tuesday night at Stringer’s Spring Break Baseball Tournament.
Taylorsville left an impression on South Jones head coach Jordan Rogers by game’s end.
“Hats off to Coach Hillman and them,” said Rogers. “They’re a championship program. He’s kinda down in the dumps right now with their record, but I’ll tell you there’s not another team in the state, besides us, that’s played the caliber to teams as they have. So hats off to them.
“You can go ahead and mark it down. They’re going to win the Class 2A State Championship. I think they’re that good.”
Rogers was also proud of his team’s effort to hold off Taylorsville and even its record to 5-5 on the season.
“I’m proud of our guys tonight too,” Jordan added. “We did some stuff that was just bad all over the place, but we stepped back and took a deep breath, and that’s what you have to do sometimes in baseball to get back to your process and come out on top, and that’s what we did tonight.”
South Jones led by as many as five runs before Taylorsville used a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to stay in contention.
Taylorsville further threatened South’s lead in the bottom of sixth by loading the bases with two outs. South Jones reliever Reid Goleman served up a ground ball to third baseman Bryson Sumrall for a force out to end the threat.
“That was the moment,” said Rogers. “It was best-on-best. Right now it was our best guy on the mound against Taylorsville’s three-hole hitter, whose batting in the three-hole spot for a reason. Our guy made a good play in the field to get us out of the inning.”
Goleman pitched two innings in relief of starter Ricky Boleware, who lasted five complete innings and allowed two earned runs on 10 hits and struck out eight.
“When we gave them (Taylorsville) an extra out by committing errors, Boleware and Goleman bowed up on the mound. Both of them did it three or four times tonight. And that was the difference in the ballgame.”
Both teams committed three errors in the field.
Andrew Howard, Nate Conliff and Max Sharp led South Jones at the plate with two hits each. Ben Welch, Sumrall, and Boleware also added hits on the night.
South Jones did its greatest damage in the top of the second, scoring three runs on an RBI ground ball by Sumrall, a sac fly by Tyler Ducksworth and an RBI single by Boleware.
South Jones will play Central Hinds Academy on Friday at the Stringer Tournament in hopes of breaking above .500 on the season for the first time. Taylorsville, on the other hand, is looking for its first win. The Tartars play Raleigh on the road this coming Saturday.