The Jacksonville Indians, sparked by a clutch piece of hitting by Mason Smith and a top shelf pitching performance by Ruston Diers, simply refused to lose in their non-district game against Rusk on saturday afternoon at Summers Norman Field.
Smith looped a single into right field with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning that drove Brett Eckles in to score the winning run as the Tribe (9-20) came from behind to edge the Eagles 3-2.
Diers, one of seven seniors who were honored in a pre-game ceremony, made sure his last performance at the JHS diamond was a memorable one.
Diers held the Eagles, who are in first place in District 19-3A, to two runs, both unearned, on three hits - all of which were singles. He struck out five and walked two in picking up the 96-pitch complete game victory.
Diers retired 13 of the last 14 Rusk batters that he faced.
Rusk (14-13) led 2-1 going into the Jacksonville half of the seventh.
The Tribe immediately got busy on carving out the comeback with Cash Cleaver delivering a pinch double to the gap in right to lead the frame of for the home team.
With one out, Eckles got aboard when the Rusk catcher could find the handle on the third strike, which allowed the speedy Eckles to beat the throw, with the ball getting past the Eagle first baseman, which gave Cleaver plenty of time to score what became the tying run, with Eckles moving up to second when the throw came in to the plate in an attempt to nab Cleaver.
That set the stage for Smith to do his magic, in walk-off fashion.
Eckles singled to start off the fifth segment for Jacksonville's remaining hit.
The loss spoiled what had been a solid starting outing by the Eagles' tall righty, Morgan Johnson, who was making a spot start for the Red and Black, who had posted a 5-0 win over Center on Friday evening.
Johnson worked five frames and didn't allow any runs while surrendering a lone hit and striking out five.
Jadarian Skinner worked the sixth in relief and allowed Jacksonville's first run.
MIchael Crews then came in and worked the seventh inning.
Rusk broke the scoring ice by plating a run in the second frame.
An Austin Ballew ground out to deep short plated Houston Munsinger from third. Munsinger led the frame off with a base hit up the middle that nearly undressed Diers.
In the top of the sixth Munsinger drove Crews in rom third after Crews stroked a one-out single to the left side.
Each club pulled off a double play and made two errors in the game.
Rusk left four runners stranded, while the Tribe left two aboard.
Jacksonville closes out the regular season tonight with a visit to state-ranked Corsicana.
Rusk played host to Groesbeck last night in a District 19-3A affair. Results of that game were not available as of press time.
NOTE: Seniors, Ruston Diers, Jeff Pryor, Dillion Rodriquez, Trevor Ewalt, Garrett Bonner, Zeke Edwards and Brett Eckles were honored during pre-game Senior Day ceremonies.
- Local Sports
Region XIV Women: Lady Jaguars close semester with win at Bossier
On a unseasonably cold December Saturday in Bossier City, the Jacksonville College Lady Jaguars warmed things up inside the Health and Physical Education Complex at Bossier Parish Community College by roasting the Lady Cavaliers, 71-56, giving head coach Leasa Ailshie her first-career Texas Eastern Conference victory.
McCown and Bears to collide with Cowboys on Monday Night Football
Jacksonville's Josh McCown will be leading the Chicago Bears into a Monday Night Football (7:30 p.m., ESPN) meeting against the Dallas Cowboys this evening.
The game will take place at what promises to be a frigid Soldier Field in Chicago. Temperature at kick off is predicted to be about 17 degrees with a west wind of nearly 20 miles per hour howling through the facility as well.
Football Capitol of Kansas Bowl: Rusk's Bennett runs for 117 yds. in TJC win
Former Rusk High School standout Chaston Bennett showed glimpses of his old self as he led Tyler Junior College in rushing and to a 47-21 win over Garden City (Kan.) Sunday afternoon in the Football Capitol of Kansas Bowl, played in Pittsburg, Kan.
Region XIV Men's Hoops: Tyler rallies in final half to clip Jacksonville 73-70
Tyler Junior College rallied in the second half to beat Jacksonville College, 73-70, in a Region XIV contest that took place at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
The Jaguars (4-8, 0-3 Region XIV) led 35-31 at halftime, but TJC took the lead for good at the 15:24 mark of the second half when Todd Eaglin drained an uncontested trey from straight away that made the score 42-39 in favor of the Apaches (8-2, 2-1).
BH-Tommy Young Classic: Bullard downs Troup; Guard upset by Grace
Day 2 of of the Tommy Young Boys Varsity Classic at Brook Hill Friday produced a pair of entertaining contests.
Jacksonville goes 4-0 in Madisonville Tournament
The Jacksonville Indians not only only posted a 4-0 record in the Madisonville Tournament on Thursday and Friday, but they won in a convincing manner as the Tribe had an average margin of victory of 22 points.
Coach Mark Alexander's Tribesmen will carry a 6-2 record into Tuesday's game at Athens. Varsity tipoff should take place around 7:30 p.m., following junior varsity and freshman games.
Fightin' Maidens double up Hawkins
Jacksonville unleashed some nasty defense on the Hawkins Lady Hawks Friday afternoon and as a result the Fightin' Maidens were able to dish out a 51-26 defeat to Hawkins in Jacksonville's final game of the Hawkins Tournament.
GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER
Frank Lusk is one of the most patient and thorough worm fishermen I have fished with. We live in a time when everybody is in a hurry. You’ve probably heard the statement, “Hurry up, I don’t have all minute!” That’s how a lot of fishermen fish – in a hurry.
Personally I like to chunk and wind, throw and go, and burn up the water with my lures. I’m in a hurry to catch bass. When bass are active these methods work. But what do you do when you are in an area that is known for holding good size bass but they are reluctant to bite? Simply put, you slow down and then slow down some more.
Prep Hoops Roundup: Jacksonville, Bullard girls perform well in tourney play; Guard rout Tigers
Her's a quick look at the high school basketball action from Thursday that involved local and area teams.
Old Man Winter alters Jacksonville athletic schedules
Several alterations to the Friday-Saturday Jacksonville High School basketball schedules have been made due to the possibilty of hazerdous travel conditions this weekend due to a winter storm event.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Region XIV Women: Lady Jaguars close semester with win at Bossier