The North Jackson baseball team locked up an area championship in impressive fashion.

Senior left-hander John Matthews pitched a no-hitter as No. 3-ranked North Jackson defeated Randolph 5-0 in Huntsville Tuesday afternoon to secure the Class 4A Area 14 title.

The win means North Jackson (18-4, 3-0) will host a Class 4A best-of-three first-round state playoff series April 19-20.

Matthews, who improved to 5-1 on the mound, had a season-high 14 strikeouts during the victory. In his last three games, Matthews has struck out a combined 37 batters in 21 innings pitched. Against Randolph, he issued one walk and hit three batters.

Brandon Poole went 3-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate for North Jackson while Jody Moore and Deshawn Ware both went 3-for-3 and Jordan Cooper was 2-for-3. The Chiefs also got one hit each from Cade Bellomy, Jordan Eakin and Logan Morris. 

The Chiefs took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Dalton Morris, courtesy running for Moore after he walked, scored on Jordan Eakin’s RBI triple. Eakin eventually scored on passed ball. In the third inning, Moore’s RBI double plated Poole after he doubled, and Poole hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh.

The teams play again today at Stevenson Park at 4:30 p.m. It’s “Senior Night” for North Jackson while Randolph (5-12, 1-2) can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.

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