Jacksonville Daily Progress
Jacksonville and Lindale entered Thursday's District 16-4A contest with identical 1-2 league slates, which meant that the winner between the home standing Indians and visiting Eagles would earn the mid-season advantage for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the conference.
Lindale brought their lumber with them, however, as the Eagles got the upper hand on three Tribe hurlers in chalking up a 14-3 decision over Jacksonville (7-14, 1-3 16-4A).
Lindale (12-7, 2-2), which had 13 hits to the Indians' six, led 7-0 after six and a half innings.
Jacksonville then got on the board in the home half of the inning.
Cash Cleaver led off with an infield single, a slow rolling nub shot that made its way down the third base line.
Brett Eckles then deposited the ball into the same general area, just with a bit more mustard on it, which gave the Indians runners at first and second with no outs.
Brayden Rawlinson then dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt to the first base side that advanced Cleaver and Eckles a base.
Cleaver was able to jet home on a Chris Holcomb groundout, giving the Indians their first run of the night.
After Lindale added seven runs in the top of the seventh, Jacksonville was able to close the gap somewhat when Trevor Ewalt was hit by a pitch to lead off the segment.
Jeff Pryor and pinch hitter Michael Sexton then followed with base hits to load the sacks.
Guadalupe Muniz then came in, also in a pinch hit role, and grounded out to the Lindale third baseman, which plated Ewalt from third and advanced the remaining runners.
Cleaver then tapped one back to the mound that brought Pryor in to score from third.
Eckles got the start and took the pitching loss for the Indians. He gave up six runs (two of which were earned) in four innings and struck out one.
Ruston Diers and Pryor finished things out for the Indians.
Diers had some success early on as he retired the first-five Lindale batters that he faced.
Also picking up base hits for the Tribe were Holcomb and Rawlinson. Holcomb tacked on a stolen base as well.
Lindale sent 19 men into scoring position, with 14 (73.7%) of those coming in to score.
The Eagles swiped six bases on the night.
Lefty Sam Sitton of Lindale worked the first six innings and earned the win on the bump.
He gave up one run, an earned run, on four hits and fanned six while walking one.
Ryan Dudley went 4-for-5 and Sitton went 2-for-4 to pace Lindale at the plate.
Jacksonville is idle on Tuesday and will travel to state-ranked Corsicana for a 7 p.m. tilt next Friday.