Jones Senior falls to Tarboro in baseball, softball Friday
Jones Senior’s Maitland Howard prepares himself for a pitch during the Trojans’ game against Tarboro Friday. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
TRENTON — Jones Senior made significant strides Friday, but couldn’t cap it off with a win.
The Trojans’ baseball and softball teams fell to Tarboro, albeit by much closer margins. In baseball, Jones Senior (9-8, 2-7 Coastal Plains Conference) fell to the Vikings 13-3 on March 19, but took a 2-1 lead in the first inning during the rematch. Unfortunately for Jones Senior, Tarboro would tie the game in the third and take the lead for good with two runs in the fourth, eventually going up 6-2 heading toward the bottom of the seventh.
The Trojans would get a two-out RBI single in the final frame from Evan Andrews and had the tying run at the plate, but couldn’t finish the comeback in a 6-3 defeat.
Jones Senior has dropped three straight in conference play and Jones Senior coach Jason Barker said there were positives to take from the defeat, but work still has to be done.
“The first time we played (Tarboro), we had maybe 10 walks and four or five errors, which helped them out in a big way,” Barker said. “We had our chances in this one, but we had maybe six or seven guys in scoring position with one or no outs that didn’t score. You’re not going to win many games playing that way — a couple of strikeouts here and there hurt us. We’ve got to get better playing small ball, but we were able to limit some mistakes.”
In softball, Jones Senior (6-10, 2-7) also lost to Tarboro 13-3 on March 19. In the rematch, the Trojans had the tying run on base in the seventh, but couldn’t get her home in a 3-2 defeat. The Vikings picked up two runs in the first on an error and a stolen base, but Timberly Baugus cut the deficit in half during the bottom of the frame with an RBI single. From there, it was a pitching duel between Baugus and Tarboro’s Hope Whitehurst before Rena Harris’ RBI double in the fifth put the Vikings ahead 3-1.
Briana Bell’s grounder in the bottom of the sixth brought home a run and Heather Morris hit a one-out single an inning later to give Jones Senior life. Unfortunately for the Trojans, the next two batters were retired.
Jones Senior coach Jody Turner said it is a process, even as the Trojans have matched last season’s win total with a shot at the postseason and a roster of only three seniors.
“We’ve been a tougher team to face the second time around, and it’s kind of been our story this season,” Turner said. “The girls do work their tails off in practice, they listen to what we tell them as coaches and they’re trusting the process, which is all you can ask for. We have to continue working and staying competitive.”
Baugus was a freshman during the Trojans’ last postseason appearance in 2016 and said there is potential in a roster with eight freshmen and sophomores.
“We have a lot of girls who hadn’t played competitively before, but they’re trying their best,” Baugus said. “We’ve got to continue having dedication, work hard and have the mentality for the playoffs. We have the potential to go a long way, but we have a lot to do.”
Bell, who is a sophomore on the Jones Senior roster, said the team will continue working toward the goal of the postseason.
“We have to keep working harder, because we are capable of making it there,” Bell said. “We have to keep trusting each other and practice more.”
Jones Senior plays Chocowinity Southside Tuesday on Senior Night.