The North Jackson baseball team is moving on in the Class 4A state playoffs.
The Chiefs swept visiting Wilson 4-1 and 13-1 during a Class 4A first-round, best-of-three series Friday night in Stevenson.
North Jackson (26-8) advanced to play at Cherokee County in Centre in a second-round best-of-three series. The first two games are set for this coming Friday at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Game 3, if needed, is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. Cherokee County (17-13) swept Good Hope in Round 1.
Against Wilson (15-14), Luke Guess finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs for North Jackson — his two-run single in the bottom of the fifth put the Chiefs in front 4-1 — while Carson Smith, Brandon Poole (double), Matt Adams and Caden Wynne had one hit each.
Smith got the win on the mound, allowing one run on six hit and no walks while recording seven
strikeouts over six innings. Landon Barnes got the save, striking out one while allowing one hit while pitching the seventh inning.
In Game 2, the Chiefs built a 7-0 lead after four innings before adding a run in the top of the sixth and fifth in the top of the seventh to secure the sweep.
Coach Cole Porter’s North Jackson club totaled 18 hits, with Poole finishing 4-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs and Smith going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs. Barnes went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and five RBIs while Macklin Guess, Adams (RBI) and Wynne had two hits each and Luke Guess, Nick Jernigan and Jayden Eakin (RBI) had one hit each.
Poole picked up the win on the mound for the Chiefs, pitching five shut-out innings while recording 10 strikeouts and allowing only four hits and three walks. Dalton Morris pitched the final two innings and struck out four.
Cold Springs 11-3-5, NSM 6-12-3 — At Higdon, visiting Cold Springs defeated No. 7-ranked North Sand Mountain 5-1 in Game 3 of the teams’ Class 2A first-round best-of-three state playoff series on Monday to eliminate the Bison from postseason play.
NSM finished 14-6 in a season in which it won its first area championship since 1990. Meanwhile, Cold Springs advanced to host a second-round series with No. 2-ranked Westbrook Christian.
NSM took an early lead in the first inning when Russ Marr tripled and then scored on his brother Dylan Marr’s RBI groundout. Cold Springs ultimately built a 5-1 lead before NSM clawed back to within 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Lake Bell singled and scored on an RBI double by Russ Marr, who then scored on Drake Holland’s RBI single. NSM put the lead-off runner on in the bottom of the seventh, but Cold Spring turned a double play before getting a game-ending strikeout from pitcher Brodi Williams, who struck out six during a complete-game effort on the mound.
Russ Marr finished 2-for-3 for NSM while Bell, Dylan Marr and Holland had one hit each. Roberto Ayala had a two-run single for Cold Springs while Williams went 2-for-4.
NSM lost Game 1 of the series Friday afternoon 11-6. Jarrett Hill went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Harley Tucker was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Holland was 2-for-4 with a triple, a double and an RBI, Derek Bearden was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Russ Marr was 2-for-2 for the Bison, who got one hit each from Bell (RBI) and Mason Smith. Russ Marr recorded eight strikeouts in six innings pitched.
Coach Ivan Richard’s Bison bounced back from the Game 1 defeat to post a 12-3 victory in Game 2 Friday night. NSM took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on Dylan Marr’s RBI single, Holland’s RBI groundout and Bearden’s RBI single. Dylan Marr’s RBI double and Tucker’s two-run single put the Bison up 6-2 in the fifth, and Holland’s three-run home run and Tucker’s RBI single gave NSM a 10-2 lead after five innings. Dylan Marr’s RBI groundout and Bearden’s RBI single capped the scoring for NSM in the seventh.
Tucker finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Bearden was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Russ Marr was 3-for-4 with three runs scored for the Bison while Dylan Marr was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Holland (four RBIs) and Bell had one hit each.
Meanwhile, Holland and Tucker combined to pitch a one-hitter for NSM. Holland recorded 15 strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings while earning the win on the mound. Tucker struck out two batters while pitching the final 1 2/3 innings.
Hackleburg 10-16, Skyline 0-3 — At Hackleburg, the Vikings’ season came to a close with a Class 1A first-round best-of-three series loss to No. 7-ranked Hackleburg on Friday.
In Game 1, Skyline (4-16) fell behind 7-0 after two innings before Hackleburg added another run in third and two in the fourth to close out the five-inning win. The Vikings were held to just two hits, singles from Carston Posey and Gabe Waldrop, who had seven strikeouts on the mound.
In Game 2, Coach Joey Rowell’s Vikings tied the game at 2-all on Daniel Olinger’s two-run single in the bottom of the first inning before Hackleburg scored 14 runs over the final three innings to end the game in five innings.
Daniel Olinger had a two-run single and Weston Avans’ had an RBI triple for Skyline while Waldrop and Sam Utter both singled. Utter and Hank Utter had five strikeouts each on the mound for the Vikings.
Hackleburg (21-7) advanced to play at Lynn in the second round.