MURFREESBORO — The third-ranked Jackson Christian School Eagles broke open a close contest with a seven-run sixth inning and went on to a 13-3 victory over the Bradley Central Bears in a Warrior Classic tournament game played at Middle Tennessee Christian School.
The Bears continue in the tournament with a pair of games in Smyrna this evening. Bradley will face state-ranked Sparkman (Ala.) at 5:30, followed by a game against host Smyrna at 8. They will travel to Mt. Juliet Saturday for an 11 a.m. contest.
The Eagles, No. 3 in the most recent TACA Class A poll, got on the scoreboard early with single runs in the first two inning off. JCS opened the contest with back-to-back walks, followed by a passed ball to put runners on second and third before Brock Blakemore lofted a sacrifice fly for his first of two RBIs. The Eagles scored another run in the second on a two-out hit by winning pitcher Hunter Higdon, driving in Conner Walker who drew a one-out walk.
JCS (11-2) increased its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth by loading the bases on a hit batsman and a pair of walks before Walker chased home a pair of runs with a single. Carson Parker drove in the final run of the inning with a two-out single.
The Bears (7-5) finally broke through for three runs in home half of the fifth against Higdon who set down 10 batters in a row before Chandler Duggan drew a one-out walk. Tyler Carpenter reached base on a fielder’s choice, forcing Duggan at second. Austin Calfee was "plunked" before Baylor Terrell singled to load the bases. Jacob Barnes lined a single to right scoring Carpenter and Calfee, with Terrell advancing to third. The Bears’ third run of the frame came as Barnes and Terrell pulled off a perfect double steal, with Barnes staying in a rundown long enough for Terrell to scamper home.
The Eagles big sixth inning started with a long home run off the bat of Caleb Rice, with a walk, a single and a pair of doubles following to plate three runs. The Eagles continued with four more base hits to drive in three more runs.
JCS ended the scoring in the seventh with Zack Rice "going yard" off the third sophomore hurler used by the Bears.
"I was disappointed in our pitching. We can't continue to put runners on base with walks against good-hitting teams; that's a recipe for disaster, and today that's what happened. Our younger guys have to pitch better. This is why we play in these tournaments, to develop pitching. I hope they learned from today and maybe the experience will pay off down the road,” stated Bear head coach Travis Adams.
Jackson Christian 110 037 1 — 13 13 0
Bradley Central 000 030 0 — 3 4 2
WP: Hunter Higdon (3-1) 5 IP 4 Ks 3 H 3 ER LP: Chandler Hamilton (1-1) 4 IP 6 Ks 2 H 2 ER 5BB 1 HBP. HR: Caleb Rice, Zack Rice (JCS) 2B: Higdon, Conner Walker, Shea Nicklas (JCS); Baylor Terrell (BC) Highlights: Carson Parker 2-4 2 runs, RBI; Brock Blakemore 1-1, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Conner Walker 2-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs. Higdon 3-4, run 2 RBIs (JCS), Terrrell 3-4, run, Jacob Barnes 1-4, 2 RBIs (BC). Records: Jackson Christian 11-2, Bradley Central 7-5.