Lions stay hot, breeze past Gur­don

The Sentinel-Record - - SPORTS - ZACH PARKER

HOT SPRINGS VIL­LAGE — Fresh off an 8-2 win over ri­val Foun­tain Lake, Jessieville coach Ryan O’Neal got the re­peat per­for­mance he was look­ing for Mon­day night.

The Lions had eight play­ers de­liver at least one base hit in a 14-2 romp of vis­it­ing Gur­don (3-11, 0-6) to im­prove to 9-7 over­all and 3-4 in the 3A/4A-8 blended con­fer­ence.

“It def­i­nitely gives me more con­fi­dence in them and them more con­fi­dence in them­selves,” O’Neal said. “Be­ing able to come out and con­tinue to play at that level no mat­ter who we’re play­ing is big. Gur­don’s got some good guys, they’re just a young group.”

Dil­lon Reece sin­gled and later scored on a passed ball to give the Go-Devils a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first in­ning, but Jessieville an­swered right back in the bot­tom of the frame.

Af­ter Dal­ton McClard and Lo­gan Perkins reached base safely lead­ing off, Adam Saveall and Chase Ped­er­sen each de­liv­ered an RBI ground­out to give the Lions a 3-1 ad­van­tage.

“Hit­ting at the right time of year is the big­gest thing,” said O’Neal. “Last year, we kind of fell off when we got to tour­na­ment time. I think we’re get­ting to where we’re al­most where we want to be. We kind of have our lineup fig­ured out and guys are start­ing to fig­ure out their roles on the team. I ex­pect us to keep on grow­ing with it.”

Ri­ley Lea­mons drew a walk and later scored on a Jessieville er­ror to pull Gur­don within 3-2 mid­way through the sec­ond be­fore the Lions broke the game open.

Jessieville bat­ted through its lineup in the bot­tom of the

sec­ond as Oliver Nasi­lai roped a two-run sin­gle and Mayson Brashaw, McClard and Perkins each plated one run.

Hav­ing played in only seven games this sea­son, Brad­shaw fin­ished with three sin­gles and two RBIs from the eighth spot in the lineup.

“We’ve ac­tu­ally been look­ing at him as a des­ig­nated hit­ter,” O’Neal said. “He’s just young as far as play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. He just needed time to get there and he’s start­ing to get there. Like we’ve been say­ing, he’s an­other guy peak­ing at the right time.”

Al­ready with a 9-2 ad­van­tage, Jessieville con­tin­ued to swing a hot bat in the bot­tom of the third. Ped­er­sen had a two-run dou­ble, while Brad­shaw, Saveall and Michael Vangilder each had one RBI to give the Lions a com­mand­ing 14-2 lead.

Tak­ing over for McClard on the mound in the top of the fourth in­ning, sopho­more Aaron Ford shut the door on any po­ten­tial come­back bid by the Go-Devils.

Ford pitched two score­less in­nings in re­lief, sur­ren­der­ing just one hit while is­su­ing one walk.

“We knew Aaron could come in and throw strikes to eat up some in­nings,” said O’Neal. “We’re start­ing to get Adam (Saveall) built up too and hop­ing to get him out there soon to give us an­other arm as well.”

Ped­er­sen reached base twice in three plate ap­pear­ances for the Lions, fin­ish­ing with a teamhigh three RBIs. Vangilder had one walk, two sin­gles, one RBI and three stolen bases in three at-bats.

Kyle Kuhn had one sin­gle in two at-bats for the Go-Devils, but suf­fered the loss with nine runs al­lowed on seven hits in 2 1/3 in­nings pitched, strik­ing out one while is­su­ing three walks.

Jessieville is sched­uled to travel to La­mar (7-7,

4-7) on Wed­nes­day be­fore host­ing Bis­marck (3-8,

3-4) on Thurs­day and clos­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son on April 23 at Dierks (13-7, 6-0).

“We just have to stay com­pet­i­tive whether we’re in prac­tice or in a game,” O’Neal said. “We’re look­ing to keep grow­ing as ballplay­ers and young men. They’ve started to ma­ture a lit­tle bit more and you can see the se­niors start to take a lit­tle more own­er­ship and be the lead­ers for us.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.