(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Wrapping up the Woodpecker Classic wood bat tournament on Saturday the Charleston Fighting Squirrels saw Jackson's Senior Babe Ruth team overcome a mid-game, two-run deficit to win 16-10.
"We didn't play very good at all," Squirrels' coach Michael Minner said. "We didn't throw strikes, we didn't swing the bats and we didn't play any defense.
"We're going to put that one behind us hopefully and try to bounce back."
Early in the game it was Charleston mounting a comeback of its own. After watching Jackson score three runs each in both the first and third innings the Squirrels rallied for six runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game.
Starting off the bottom of the third, seven-straight Charleston batters would reach as the Squirrels batted around the order getting key hits from Ryan Moses, Seth Childers and Jonathan Boone to extend the inning.
Charleston came back in the fourth and got singles from Nathan Rodgers and Boone before each came around to score to give their team an 8-6 lead.
Unfortunately for the Squirrels, Jackson was able to take advantage of a combined eight hits and four walks in the fifth and sixth innings to put together back-to-back five-run rallies to jump out to a comfortable 16-8 lead.
"We walked people and they hit some balls that found some holes," Minner said. "You mix three or four walks with three or four hits and that's destruction."
Though Childers and Bobby Clark opened the sixth with singles before scoring to close Charleston within six, the Squirrels came back in the seventh and hit three-straight grounders to the shortstop in the seventh to end the game.
Both the Squirrels and Jackson finished the game with 11 hits. Boone led Charleston going 3 for 3 with two runs scored and walk while while Childers and Clark contributed two hits each.
For Jackson Jon Winkler, Alex Beussink and Derek Landewee each had a pair of hits.
"I really liked our kids resiliency today," Jackson coach Paul Sander said. "When we got behind 8-6 it would have been real easy against a team of Charleston's quality to sack it in, but we battled back."
Jesse Long picked up the pitching win. He entered the game with with no outs and the bases loaded in the third inning and pitched the final five innings to record the win for Jackson. He allowed four runs and five hits while walking only one.
Jackson finished the tourney with a 2-1 record. The Charleston Squirrels and New Madrid also finished 2-1.
Charleston drops to 18-16 on the season and will play Cape Girardeau's Senior Legion team today at 7 p.m. at Capaha Park. Jackson (20-13) will next play at home in a doubleheader against the Charleston Woodpeckers on Monday at 6pm at the Legion Field in Jackson.
In other Woodpecker Classic action on Saturday, Bardwell, Ky. beat New Madrid County's Senior Babe Ruth team 10-3 while the Charleston Woodpeckers defeated the East Prairie Rage 9-8.
Jackson 303 055 0 - 16
Charleston 006 202 0 - 10
WP -- Jesse Long. LP -- Dustin Johnson.