Top-ranked Bobcats claim MACJC State Championship

(JCJC Athletics)
(JCJC Athletics)

JCJC Athletics Press Release

BOONEVILLE – The end came suddenly, but it was a sweet victory for the No. 1 Jones County Junior College Bobcats.

Trent Giambrone's three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning capped an eight-run inning and gave the Bobcats a 14-3 victory, 'run-rule' win over the Hinds Community College Eagles in the MACJC State Championship game here Saturday afternoon at Harold T. White Field.

Head coach Christian Ostrander's Bobcats, 43-9, captured their first state championship since 2011 when they advanced to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.

JCJC will host the Region 23 Tournament May 15-17 at Community Bank Park with the winner heading to Enid, Oklahoma, for the national tournament, beginning May 24. The Bobcats, Hinds, East Central and LSU-Eunice will comprise the region tournament field.

Hinds had defeated JCJC 7-6 earlier Saturday to force the deciding title game. The Eagles are 32-18 on the year.

Bobcats 14, Eagles 3

(7 innings)

Christian Dale, who had only pitched 11 2/3 innings all season, started and gave the Bobcats an outstanding effort.

Dale, 3-0, went five innings, allowed two earned runs, nine hits, walked none and struck out two in recording the win. Will Simon pitched the final two innings, allowed one unearned run, one hit, walked two and struck out three.

Giambrone, Alex Shermer, Josh Pankratz and Chase Hensley all slugged home runs as the Bobcats pounded out 13 hits.

Shermer's home run to left got the Bobcats on the board in the second inning to make it 1-0.

Hinds tied it at 1-1 in the fourth when Toler Robinson and Casey Echols each singled. Quade Smith then doubled to left to score Robinson.

JCJC bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Shermer led off with a single and Pankratz drilled a two-run home run to make it 3-1.

Hinds made it 3-2 in the fifth when Matt Jones homered to right-center.

The Bobcats made it 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth.

Giambrone led off with a double and Tyler Graves followed with a single. Jordan Stark followed with a double to score both runners, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. Hensley then homered to right.

Hinds scored in the top of the seventh when Gage Posey and Smith walked and Luke Reynolds singled to load the bases with no outs. Jones then reached on an error to score Posey.

But Simon struck out Chase Lunceford and got Caleb Upton to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.

That set the stage for the game-ending, bottom of the seventh.

Graves led off with a single and was replaced by courtesy runner J.G. Miley. Stark then reached on an error to put runners at first and third. A wild pitch scored Miley and put Stark at second base.

Hensley then doubled to center to score to score Stark and make it 8-3. After a groundout, Pankratz singled to score Hensley. Carter Polles was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Stephen Stiglets then reached on an error, which scored Pankratz and Polles to make it 11-3.

After Chris Morgan was hit by a pitch, Giambrone stepped in and homered over the rightfield fence to end the game.

Shermer homered and singled twice for the Bobcats, while Giambrone homered, doubled and drove in three runs. Hensley homered, doubled and had two RBIs, while Pankratz homered, singled and had three RBIs. Graves had two singles, while Morgan and Stark added singles.

Derek Martin, 3-3, pitched an inning in relief and took the loss. He allowed four runs (all earned), four hits and struck out two. Chase Cater pitched the first three innings, allowed one earned run, two hits, walked one and struck out one. Daniel Briner, Austin Sanders and Tyler Cox also pitched for the Eagles.

Reynolds, Upton and Casey Echols each had two singles for Hinds. Jones homered, while Smith doubled. Lunceford and Robinson had singles.

Eagles 7, Bobcats 6

The Eagles broke a 5-5 tie with a run in the fourth inning, added another in the sixth and held on in game one.

Chris Morgan got JCJC off to a good start with a home run to lead off the first.

Hinds took a 2-1 lead in the second when Toler Robinson and Jonathan Washam singled. Quade Smith singled to right to score Robinson and an error allowed courtesy runner Houston Case to score.

The Bobcats tied it at 2-2 in the third when Stephen Stiglets singled and Morgan walked. Trent Giambrone's single to left scored Stiglets.

The Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom of the third.

Chase Lunceford and Caleb Upton hit back-to-back solo home runs with one out. Marshall Boggs and Brian Mills followed with singles. Robinson reached on a fielder's choice, but Boggs would score on an error to make it 5-2.

JCJC came right back in the fourth inning to tie the game at 5-5.

Chase Hensley and Alex Shermer each walked to lead off the inning and Josh Pankratz singled to left to load the bases with no outs. Carter Polles then singled to score courtesy runner J.G. Miley.

Stiglets then reached on an error, which allowed Shermer to score. Giambrone's line drive sacrifice fly to center scored Polles to tie the game.

Hinds came back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth.

Smith and Reynolds led off the inning with singles, but Smith was caught trying to advance to third on a steal attempt. Reynolds took second on the play. Lunceford followed with a single to score Reynolds.

Reynolds would hit a two-out, solo home run in the sixth to give the Eagles a 7-5 lead.

JCJC got its final run in the eighth inning.

Polles singled with one out, Stiglets walked and Morgan singled to load the bases. Giambrone's fielder's choice grounder scored Polles. Tyler Graves then hit a sharp ground ball between first and second, but Hinds second baseman Matt Jones made a diving stop to his left and threw Graves out at first to prevent the tying run from scoring.

In the top of the ninth, Hensley was hit by a pitch with one out, but the Eagles turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Morgan homered and singled for the Bobcats, while Pankratz and Polles each had two singles. Giambrone, Graves, Stark, Hensley and Stiglets added singles.

Hensley, 6-1, started and took the loss. He went three innings, allowed five runs (three earned), eight hits, walked none and struck out one. Daniel Goff went the final five innings, allowed two earned runs, six hits, walked one and struck out two.

Lunceford homered, doubled and singled for Hinds. Reynolds homered and singled, while Boggs, Washam and Smith had two singles each. Upton homered, while Miles and Robinson added singles.

Randy Bell, 7-4, went 4 1/3 innings in relief and got the win. He gave up two runs (one earned), six hits, walked one and struck out three. Austin Sanders went 1 2/3 innings and got the save. He allowed no runs and one hit.

Starter Wesley Wilkinson went three innings, allowed four runs (all earned), four hits, walked three and struck out two.

2014 MACJC Baseball Tournament


Northeast Mississippi Community College

Harold T. White Field

Thursday's results

Game 1, Hinds 13, East Central 4

Game 2, Jones County 14, Northeast 4 (8 innings)

Friday's results

Game 3, East Central 12, Northeast 4

Game 4, Jones County 5, Hinds 1

Game 5, Hinds 9, East Central 8

Saturday's results

Game 6, Hinds 7, JCJC 6

Game 7, JCJC 14, Hinds 3 (7 innings). JCJC claims championship.

JCJC, Hinds, East Central and LSU-Eunice advance to Region 23 Tournament May 15-17 at JCJC.