Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

SPORTS>> Devils make it three straight

IN SHORT>> Jacksonville beats Hall Warriors 12-2

The Jacksonville Red Devils extended their season’s first winning streak to three games Monday night with a 12-2 run-rule victory over Little Rock Hall. Monday’s win over the Warriors follows two victories in last week’s Red Devil Classic over J.A. Fair and Abundant Life.

The Red Devils led 7-2 heading into the fifth inning when a five-run rally, capped by Hall’s pitching walking in the final two runs, invoked the 10 runs after five innings rule and ended the ballgame.

“We’re playing better,” Jacksonville coach Larry Burrows said Tuesday morning. “We’ll still have to play a lot better to-night than we did. Jonesboro is tough. We haven’t seen much hitting and pitching like they have. They’re pretty loaded.”

Burrows’ squad left early Tuesday afternoon for a conference doubleheader against the AAAAA-East’s preseason favorite Jonesboro.

In Monday’s game, the Red Devils got only eight hits, but they were timely hits and capitalized on Hall’s pitching struggles and errors.

John Ottis got a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth with Jacksonville leading 8-2. Ottis’ hit made it 10-2 before the successive walks ended the game.

The highlight of the game came in the second inning when Jacksonville senior Randy Peeples hit a solo home run to put Jacksonville up 1-0.

Sophomores Zach Thomas and Blake Mattison, as well as senior Seth Boatman, turned in multiple-hit performances.

Boatman also started on the mound and got the win, with freshman Cameron Hood stepping to the mound for the last two innings of relief duty.

Burrows was pleased with Hood’s performance, as well as many other young players on the Red Devil roster.

“Hood came in and pitched well,” Burrows said. “He’s got a chance to be one of our best. Our sophomores played pretty good too. We’re getting some production from our younger players. That should help us down the line. They’re getting some experience.”

The win pulls the Red Devils to .500 on the season at 4-4.

Look for details of Tuesday’s matchup with Jonesboro in Saturday’s edition of the Leader.

Jacksonville has no other varsity games scheduled the rest of the week. The Red Devils will go back on the road next Monday for another conference doubleheader against the other league favorite Searcy.

Jacksonville’s next home game is a non-conference match-up against Oak Grove next Wed-nesday. Its first East home game is March 28 against Sylvan Hills.