NEW CHAPEL HILL —
The Jacksonville Fightin' Indian baseball team didn't seem to mind opening their season at 9 a.m. Thursday.
In fact the Tribe appeared to enjoy the early-bird start as Jacksonville scored a 4-1 win over Grace Community in the first game of the Chapel Hill Tournament, which runs through Saturday.
The Indians are the defending tournament champions.
Mason Smith went 3 for 3 with the bat to spark Jacksonville.
He drilled singles in the first, fourth and sixth frames.
Smith was quite busy, in fact, as he also pitched a complete game and allowed only one earned run on eight Cougar hits.
Jacksonville got on the board in the first inning when Brayden Rawlinson singled to start things off for the Tribe.
He came in to score on a passed ball later in the frame to give the Tribe the lead.
Chris Holcomb doubled in the two-run sixth for Jacksonville. His two-base hit plated Cash Cleaver.
Pleasant Grove 6, Jacksonville 5
ARP — Jacksonville's second game of the tournament was played at Arp High School, with Texarkana Pleasant Grove edging the Indians, 6-5.
Cleaver reached base three times, including via a single in the sixth segment. During the frame the Tribe scored three runs to cut the Hawk lead to 5-4.
Smith laced a two-run double and came around to score in the segment.
Rawlinson was the hard-luck loser on the hill for Jacksonville (1-1).
He worked an inning and two thirds of relief, allowed one run while one and fanning one.
Dylan Silvey picked up the win out of the bullpen for Pleasant Grove.