Jackson County wins third straight with rout of Madison Co.
THE RUNS keep coming for Jackson County and so do the wins.
The Panthers (3-2) scored at least 10 runs for the third time in as many games in an 11-5 win over Class AAAA Madison County Monday as the team ran its winning streak to three games.
“We came out and swung the bat extremely well,” Panther head coach Tommy Fountain said.
Jackson County will face Clarke Central Wednesday on the road at 5:55 p.m.
The Panthers, who have plated 33 runs in the last three games, managed 14 hits against Madison County, a playoff team in Class AAAA last year.
Jesse Tallent led Jackson County, going 3-for-5 with two doubles. Other top hitters were Quinn Grogan (2-for-3, RBI), Trey Sorrells (2-for-5, double, RBI) and Andy Williams (3-for-4).
Austin Robinson started for Jackson County but Tallent (2-0) worked the final five innings, surrendering five hits, two runs (one of which was earned) and two walks while striking out five, to earn the win.
The Panthers took control early in this one.
Jackson County struck for eight runs — two of them earned — against Madison County starter Brock Turner, who has committed to Gordon College, to knock him out of the game after two innings.
“We took advantage of some of their defensive lapses in the first two innings and combined that with some timely hitting to get the Turner kid out of there early,” Fountain said.
Madison County cut into Jackson County’s 8-0 lead with four runs in the third, but the Panthers added insurance scores in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Fountain said his team might have relaxed after leading by eight runs so early.
“I think when we got up 8-0 after two innings, we went into coast mode and that let them back in the game in the third inning,” Fountain said. “I was glad that the guys responded by putting them away, scoring a few more runs over the next couple of innings.”
Still, the coach said his team must establish a “killer instinct.”
“Some of what got them back in the game was a few mental lapses,” Fountain said. “We took three bad approaches at the plate in a row offensively and then walked three consecutive guys to start the third inning defensively. We even had a mental lapse defensively, where we forgot the situation, which I've not seen happen all year with this group.”
But Fountain put the game in perspective.
“When you score eight runs in two innings against a kid that already knows where he's going to college, I guess I can't fuss too much, though,” he said.
Now Jackson County moves on to its second matchup with Clarke Central in six days. The Panthers beat the Gladiators 12-2 this past Friday in six innings. Following the road trip to Clarke Central, Jackson County faces Elbert County next Wednesday (March 14) at home in its subregion opener.