Eagles eliminated from Region 23
By By Austin Bishop/Special to The Star
May 13, 2001
That's best word to describe Jones Junior College's amazing come-from-behind 18-17 over host Meridian Community College in the NJCAA Division I Region 23 Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The biggest of many big blows came off the bat of Jones shortstop Josh Sullivan when he ripped a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the Bobcats up by the final score. It was the only time Jones lead the entire game.
The game which officially lasted six hours and two minutes saw 35 hits, 19 walks, two hit batters, two passed balls, five wild pitches and a catcher's interference call.
Meridian, which as the visiting team on the scoreboard despite hosting the event at Scaggs Field on the MCC campus, got lead-off man Travis Garner on with a single to start the ninth.
After a sacrifice bunt moved Garner to second, Adam Smith flew out to right, advancing Garner to third.
Jones reliever Jared White then got MCC clean-up man Dustin Cliburn to fly out to right to end the game.
With the win JCJC advances to today's 1 p.m. game where they will face Saturday night's Gulf Coast-Bossier Parish loser. The title game is set for 4 p.m.
If the undefeated team loses that game, then the championship game will be played at 1 p.m. on Monday.
It looked as if Meridian, which finished the year at 37-18, was about to put the game away in the sixth inning.
MCC scored three runs in the top of the inning and were just one out from setting JCJC down in order with a 16-8 lead.
After MCC reliever Chord Robinson struck out the first two batters in the inning, he walked Jason Rowland and Sullivan. Clint Harris then belted a homer to cut it to 16-11.
The Bobcats went on to score two more runs in the inning to make it 16-15, giving JCJC five runs with two outs in the frame.
After banging out 16 hits and scoring 16 runs over the first six innings,
MCC went quiet over the last three innings of the game.
MCC scored a single run in the top of the seventh to make it 17-13, only to have Jones pick up two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning.
In all the two teams combined gave up 11 unearned runs in the game.
Meridian reliever Michael Goodson (1-1) set down the first two Jones' hitters in the bottom of the eighth with the Eagles holding a 17-15 lead.
But Matt McAlpin ripped a solo homer to cut it to one run, then Rowland drew a walk. Sullivan followed with a two-run homer to center to put the winners up 18-17.
Ryan Whitaker had a double and three singles and drove in five runs to lead Jones at the plate, while Travis Garner had four singles to lead MCC and Antoin Gray drove in five runs with a triple and two doubles.
Chris Wright and Rory Thornton hit homers for Meridian in the game.