Now comes the Region 5-4A showdown with West Lauderdale.
Northeast Jones completed the sweep of Northeast Lauderdale with a 7-0 shutout win Friday night in The Jungle. Sophomore southpaw Dalton Tanner grabbed the win on the mound in six and one-third innings of shutout work, keeping the Trojans to just one hit. Northeast Jones beat Northeast Lauderdale 10-6 earlier in the week on the road.
Tigers head coach Jeremy Parker talked about Tanner’s performance and the decision to cut his night two outs shy of a complete game.
“Dalton Tanner threw excellent for us tonight,” said NEJ head baseball coach Jeremy Parker. “He worked ahead in the count to keep his pitch count down. We pulled him after six and a third because he was at his highest pitch count of the year and we want to keep him as fresh as we can for the matchup next week as we face West Lauderdale.”
For video highlights and the full postgame interview with Jeremy Parker, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/XVcd88ZbdO4
Northeast Lauderdale’s solo hit came in the fourth on a one-out double to left-center off the bat of Brock Butler. After an intentional walk to increase the Tigers chances of a force play, and then a groundout that moved the runners in scoring position, Tanner ended the threat with a two-out strikeout of Trojans batter Jake McElroy.
“I don’t know his totals off the top of my head,” said Parker, “but I know he had at least 12 or 13 strikeouts on the night and gave up that one hit.”
Junior right-hander Shelby Nowell ended the game in relief for Tanner and Northeast Jones, Nowell forced Northeast Lauderdale to fly out in foul territory and delivered McElroy’s third strikeout on the night to close out the 5-4A meeting.
“We’ve been playing really good ball over the past several weeks,” said Parker. “It’s been a total 180 from where we were before Spring Break. The team that showed up after Spring Break is the team we knew we had all along. We’re now 9-1 after then break.”
After a Tyler Harper RBI single in the first – scoring Mason Smith from third, who led off the bottom of the first with an infield single – Northeast Lauderdale shut the Tigers down until the fourth inning. A five-run bottom frame, highlighted by a three-run bomb by senior Patrick Little, put Northeast Jones up 6-0. Smith added the Tigers seventh run on the board in the sixth on an RBI single to centerfield. Little, Smith and Carson Ellis led the Tigers with two hits apiece.
“It was very similar to the game Tuesday night,” said Parker. “NEL was able to score one in the first, and it wasn’t till the fourth till we were able to break through. Tonight, we take the 1-0 lead on Tyler Harper’s base hit up the middle, and then we get a couple of zero’s put on us.
“[In the fourth] we came out and got a couple of guys on. We were looking at possibly bunting or squeezing to go up 2-0, and Patrick ran into one and hit it pretty well.”
Dylan Greer, Eli Collins and Joey Withers also had hits in the 7-0 win.
Northeast Jones improves to 14-7 on the regular season and 8-0 in Region 5-4A. Northeast Lauderdale falls to 10-7 overall and 3-5 in region play.