Jackson County split a Saturday doubleheader with one of the better baseball programs in Class AAAA, losing at Eastside 10-2 in game one and winning 7-3 in game two.
"Eastside was the most talented team we've seen, were preseason-ranked no. 12 in AAAA and had two real good arms on the mound, and we got out of there with a split, so we were pretty happy," coach Tommy Fountain said.
The Panthers lost the first game after surrendering five runs to the Eagles in the first inning. Jackson County cut the lead to 6-2 in the top of the sixth but didn't get any closer as a four-game winning streak came to an end.
Jeremy Cook took the loss, pitching five innings, giving up seven runs (five earned) and five hits while striking out three. After surrendering the five first-inning runs, Cook only gave up two runs on two hits over the next four innings.
Joel Ellis went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brett Bowen and Nick Corso both had doubles.
Things went much better for the Panthers in game two. The Panthers got a game-tying two-run homer from Patrick Overstreet and a two-run single from Tyler Sartain which gave the Panthers some breathing room. Travis Vickers and Jacob Banks each had two hits.
"Travis Vickers didn't start game one, but was really a spark plug in game two," Fountain said.
Coleman Barbee earned the win from the mound, throwing five innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out five.
"Coleman did not have his best stuff but kept battling against a really good lineup and gave us a chance to win," Fountain said.
Jase Latty worked the final two innings for the save, giving up one run on two hits.
Fountain said he was proud of how his team swung the bat in both games against pitchers throwing in the mid-to-high 80s.
"We really hit the ball hard all day, even in the first game," Fountain said. "We just struggled stringing them together in game one. I was also proud of the way we rebounded in game two."