Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

SPORTS >> Red Devils take two non-league matchups

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Jacksonville Red Devils added two wins to their record with a win over Little Rock Christian on Friday 11-2 and a close 4-3 victory over Oak Grove on Monday at Dupree Park. The non-conference wins come after a struggle in the conference season for the Red Devils, losing eight AAAAA-East matchups in a row.

Friday’s game against Christian was a dominating performance. Jacksonville took off to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Cameron Hood and Adrian Baker put the first two runs on the board, followed by Seth Tomboli and Santiago Salazar.

The Warriors not only had trouble defensively against Jacksonville, but batting was a struggle as well. Christian went scoreless for the first four innings, as the Red Devils stretched out their advantage in the bottom of the fourth.

Adam Ussery singled to start out the inning, followed by Blake Mattison. Mattison was hit by a pitch to get to first, putting two more runs in position. A walk for Jake Ussery loaded the bases for the Red Devils.

Two of those runs scored when Hood doubled two batters later. By the end of the fourth inning, Jacksonville had increased its lead to 9-0. The Warriors finally avoided the shutout when they came away with one run in the fifth inning.

Mattison was driven in by Jake Ussery for another run in the bottom of the fifth inning, with a single run home run from Hood in the bottom of the sixth setting the Red Devils’ final score. Christian was only able to add one more run in the sixth, giving Jacksonville the rout.

Monday’s contest against Oak Grove was much more closely contested.

The Hornets struck first in the top of the first inning with a run. The Red Devils put four runs up in the opening inning, with Adam Ussery and Mattison both singling off to start the inning. Both runners were then driven in with a two-run homer from Jake Ussery.

Hood kept things going with a double, and was driven in moments later off a single from Salazar. The Hornets tried to rally in the middle of the contest, scoring runs in the top of the third and fifth innings to close Jacksonville’s lead to within one.
The Red Devils held Oak Grove at bay during the final two innings to take their second straight win. The wins improve the Red Devils’ overall record to 8-12.

Jacksonville played at Forrest City last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that game in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.