Pine, Varnado collect victories on tournament’s opening day

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pine and Varnado began the Pine Baseball Tournament with lopsided victories Thursday.

Varnado defeated Amite, 10-4, and Pine downed Independence, 20-1, in five innings.

Varnado 10,  Amite 4

In the first game, Varnado’s Jaylan Jefferson turned in a solid performance on the mound and the bats came through in the victory.

Jefferson went six innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. The junior struck out 14 batters and walked four.

Jefferson struck out the side from the second through the fourth inning.

“I’m definitely pleased with him,” Varnado coach Blake West said. “To come out, first game of the year and go six innings, rack up (14) strikeouts and really for them not to hit anything hard off of him, that’s very impressive and I’m very pleased with him.”

After allowing a run in the top of the first, the junior held Amite scoreless until the fifth.

That gave his offense time give him a lead to work with and they did so in a big way over the opening four innings.

After getting down 1-0 after a half an inning, the Wildcats scored nine runs over the game’s first four innings.

The first two came in the first. The rally began when Trace Lozier walked with one out and Jefferson singled. Lozier attempted to reach third and did so, but an overthrow of third base allowed Jefferson to advance to second. Xavier Moses was next and he hit a two-run single that sent Lozier and courtesy runner Jaccourius Bickham home.

The Wildcats added two more runs in the second. Kevin Boudreaux reached on a throwing error, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a wild pitch. After the next two hitters struck out, Lozier walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored Jefferson’s RBI single to make it 4-1.

Varnado tacked on three more in the third. Ja’Kyle Newkirk struck out, but reached first on a third-strike wild pitch and stole second. He scored when Jo’Nathan Green recorded a bunt single, but an error allowed Newkirk to come home for the Wildcats’ fifth run.

Ja’Roderick Robinson moved Green to third with a groundout to the pitcher. Boudreaux then walked and stole second. Robinson and Boudreaux later scored on wild pitches for a 7-1 lead through three innings.

Varnado’s lead jumped to 9-1 in the fourth inning. Jefferson was hit by a pitch and Xavier Moses walked. Courtesy runner Bickham and Moses advanced on a wild pitch. Bickham scored on an RBI groundout by Robinson and Moses tallied on a wild pitch.

Amite trimmed the lead to 9-2 through five, but Varnado pushed it back to an eight-run lead in the sixth when Green singled with the bases loaded, plating Bickham for a 10-2 lead.

Amite scored two runs in the seventh and loaded the bases with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game in the 10-4 win.

Pine 20, Independence 1 (5 innings)

In the second game, Pine’s Dillon Morris and Austin Temples combined on a five-inning no-hitter against Independence.

Morris pitched the first four innings and tallied eight strikeouts.

Temples allowed a run without the benefit of a hit. He walked two and struck out one.

The Raiders jumped out to a 7-0 advantage after three innings and then ended any doubt of the outcome with 13 runs in the fourth to take a 20-0 advantage.

Connor Holmes and Jamie Adcox led the Raiders in hitting. The two combined for seven hits, eight RBIs and six runs.

Holmes went 4-for-4 with a double, four RBIs and four runs. Adcox was 3-for-4 with a double, four RBIs and a pair of runs.

Morris, Trey Cooper and Landon Fonda had two hits each.

Morris doubled, drove in two and scored twice. Cooper tripled and drove in a run. Fonda had an RBI and two runs.

Ethan Knight, Rion Terrell and Kaleb Voth posted a hit each.

Knight finished with an RBI and two runs, while Terrell scored twice and Voth drove in one and scored a run.

Also for the Raiders, Tate Roach scored two runs while Harrison Jones had three runs and an RBI.

In all, Pine posted 16 hits.

The tournament continued with games Friday and Saturday.