ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Jones County Junior College's chase for back-to-back NJCAA Division II Baseball championships came to an end on Saturday night.
The No. 1 Bobcats fell to Hinds 8-7, knocking them out of the Region 23 tournament and ending their season at 46-4.
"It's hard to match and it's hard to top what these guys did all year," said second-year JCJC head coach Chris Kirtland. "It's a very impressive season. Unfortunately, it ends with a bad taste in your mouth for the guys but it's important that they reflect upon all that they did do and all that they did accomplish. Those accomplishments don't disappear just because they lost a game in a regional."
JCJC will see eight sophomores move on to Division I baseball programs next season. Tanner Huddleston, Jonathan Parker, and pitchers Ben Stiglets and Logan Robbins are all committed to Louisiana Tech University.
Pitcher Reed Michel is committed to play for Northwestern State University.
Three Bobcats will stay close by as Fred Franklin, Erick Hoard and South Jones alum Mason Strickland (pitcher) are all Southern Miss signees.
"That sophomore class has a soft spot in my heart because that was my first team as head coach here," Kirtland said. "It's really hard to see those guys go. But it's also exciting too because the future is bright for each and every one of them."