Ty Jones, Hayden Lewis lead North Pike past Natchez High in MHSAA Region 3-5A action

Published 10:43 am Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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SUMMIT — North Pike High School pitcher/second baseman Ty Jones held Natchez High School to one unearned run on just three hits and struck out six batters in four solid innings as the Jaguars cruised to a 12-2 win over the Bulldogs in five innings last Tuesday night in an MHSAA Region 3-5A game.

And it was yet another tough loss for a Natchez High team that started the season 7-1 overall. Since then, the Bulldogs have won just one their last nine games, including their first three games in Region 3-5A.

“Too many walks. We hit the ball pretty well. We had almost as many hits as they did,” Bulldogs head coach Dan Smith said. “We played a fairly decent game, but my pitcher had too many walks.”

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After a scoreless first inning, the Bulldogs took what turned out to be their only lead of the game with one run in the top of the second inning. After that, it was all North Pike. The Jaguars scored four runs in the bottom of the second to grab a 4-1 lead.

Even though that was all the run support Jones would need, North Pike added to its lead with four runs in the bottom of the third inning and three runs in the bottom of the fourth for a commanding 11-1 lead.

Only two players for Natchez High ended up with base hits. Jaylin Davis was 2-for-2 with a double and Mason Bouldin was 2-for-3. Leadoff hitter Jamie Wilson scored one run and first baseman Antonio Crenshaw scored the other run for the Bulldogs.

“The hitting part was fine,” Smith said.

The Bulldogs tried to keep the game going after scoring one run in the top of the fifth inning to make it an 11-2 game, but the Jaguars would run-rule them with one run in the bottom of the fifth.

It was a rough outing for Jamarius Bell. He went four and one-third innings and gave up 12 runs, nine of them earned, on five hits, six walks, and eight hit by pitches. He also struck out five batters.

“The hit by pitches count as walks. We had 14 total walks. When you do that, it’s hard to win a ball game,” Smith said. “If we don’t have the walks, we may win the. We have a doubleheader coming up Friday. If we can minimize the walks, we’re in a better position at the end of the game.”

Dominic Smith came on in relief of Jones, who threw 37 of his 51 pitches for strikes. Smith gave up one earned run on one hit with two strikeouts and one walk in two-thirds of an inning. Hayden Lewis closed the game and struck out one in his one-third of an inning.

Lewis also did some damage at the plate for North Pike, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, one run batted in, and one run scored. Leadoff batter Grayson Reeves went 1-for-4 with three RBIs and one runs cored while JK Bales was 1-for-1 with a double, was hit by a pitch twice, and had two TWIs and three runs scored.

Natchez High (8-9, 0-3) plays host to North Pike at Chester Willis Field for a pivotal Region 3-5A varsity doubleheader Friday at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.