Jones Senior in midst of best season since 2016
Jones Senior has won eight games this season after Monday’s 10-0 victory over Neuse Charter, equaling the same total of victories over the past two. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
TRENTON | Jones Senior is working toward a pair of 2019 goals.
The Trojans dispatched Neuse Charter 10-0 Monday at home, improving their record to 8-5 on the season. This campaign has already been good considering recent history — Jones Senior won eight games combined in 2017 and 2018 — but the team is looking for more.
“The seniors on the team made the playoffs as freshmen and this was one of the goals the team had,” Jones Senior head coach Jason Barker said. “They want to win double-digit games and make the playoffs again, and I think we’re on the right track.”
The Trojans started the year 4-0, but a 20-6 win over Neuse Charter on March 18 was the only win in six games during a tough stretch, including a 6-5 defeat to Lejuene March 25. Two weeks prior, Jones Senior won 10-0 and it was a game Barker said helped get everyone refocused.
“I think we got a little bigheaded after a pretty good start,” Barker said. “We had a couple of bad practices and it affected our games. I think the Lejeune game was the wake-up we needed — the coaches have been pretty hard on the players in practice and they responded well. We’ve been playing some of our best baseball over the last three games and it’s going to help us as we get back into conference play. This is toughest 1A conference in the state, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
Since the loss to Lejuene, Jones Senior has outscored its opponents 34-0 with a trip to face Pinetown Northside looming Tuesday in Coastal Plains Conference play. Trojans shortstop Jay King said the team is starting to find its touch again.
“We started playing more as a team, working together more and picking each other up,” King said.
King is one of four Trojans seniors, including third baseman Tanner Batchelor, who came in from Bethel Christian. Batchelor, who won an NCCSA championship in 2017 with another set of Trojans, said it’s been a seamless transition.
“It’s been enjoyable here and I’ve been able to fit in pretty well,” Batchelor said.
Jones Senior has a trio of freshmen who started Monday, including leadoff hitter and second baseman Logan Meadows, who said he’s learned a lot early on.
“I’ve talked to the older guys a lot, trying to figure out what works and how I can help the team,” Meadows said.
Overall, junior centerfielder and pitcher Logan Murphy said the team’s continuity will be key toward the rest of the season to fulfill goals.
“We have to keep playing together, pounding the strike zone and getting good hits,” Murphy said.