Baseball season came to an unexpected end Saturday when the Jackets lost their second game in as many days to Signal Mountain and were eliminated from the District 7AA tournament. The Jackets ended their year with a 27-7 record.
Coach Chase Jones had a lot to say about the season as a whole.
“The end of our season did not go how any of the coaches or players wanted it to however, it was one of the most enjoyable seasons I have had as a coach in my career. When I came here three years ago, the kids bought into what I was telling them and they have been an absolute pleasure to coach over the last three seasons.
“The first year I was here, we were something like 9 and 24. I think we had a team batting average of .257 and averaged a strike out every two at bats. Last season we improved to 27 and 12, improved our team batting average to .283, and made it to the regional semifinals. This season we had a tremendous regular season going 27 and 7 and improved our team batting average to .323.
“The bad thing was we ran into a Signal Mountain team that simply was playing their best baseball at the right time. I felt very good going into the district tournament. Our team was playing as well as we have all year. However, in the best of three series with Signal Mountain we had some misfortunate plays that totally changed the tide of the series. They were able to beat us on Friday night 6-1 and as hard as we tried to recover for Saturday, we just could not and they used that momentum to defeat us 6-1 again.
“The thing about high school baseball is it is a tournament sport, it does not matter how well you do during the course of the year. During the district tournament or regional and sectionals, if you are not on your game and another team is, your season is over.
“I hate that we could not get back to the region semifinals and have a chance to make it to the State Tournament. This group deserved a shot at it. However, just like in life, you can work very hard for something and just come up short. The thing I talked to the kids about is learning from this and getting up off the canvas and taking what they have learned in this program and becoming better men. If they do that, that is much more important to me than winning a District or State Championship,” said Coach Jones.
April 28, Grundy got their 24th win of the season downing the Tigers. DeKalb opened with a 1-0 lead at the end of the first, but the Jackets responded with one in the second. Grundy’s bats were hot for four runs in the fifth and held off a two run rally in the 7th by the Tigers to win 5-3.
Three Jacket pitchers shared duties on the mound. Dallas Bryan started going two innings and striking out 5. Tanner Foutch tossed the next four, striking out 7 and notching the win. Chandler Knight tossed the last inning and struck out 2.
Elijah Bean led at the plate going 2 for 4 with a run scored. Taten McBee was 1 for 4 with a double and a run. Hogan Holland hit 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Tanner Foutch went 1 for 4 with a double and a RBI. Ethan Smith was 1 for 2. Dallas Bryan was 1 for 4 with a RBI and a run. Paul Freeman was 1 for 3. Brady Meeks and Blane Harris scored runs.
Grundy 4 – Huntland 1
Grundy took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second and never trailed. Huntland’s lone run came in the third but Grundy would add one for insurance in the sixth to notch the win. Houston Mainord got the win pitching the first four innings and striking out two. Elijah Bean pitched the final three innings striking out 6.
Tanner Foutch led the way hitting 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Chandler Knight and Elijah Bean were also 2 for 4 with Knight scoring a run. Hogan Holland was 2 for 2 at the plate with a run scored. Taten McBee and Hunter Condra hit 1 for 3 and both scored a run.
Signal Mountain 6 – Grundy 1
In Friday’s opening game of the district tournament Grundy just couldn’t get their offense going in this one and the Eagles inched away scoring 2 in the first, second and fifth to go up 6-0. The Jackets notched their lone run in the bottom of the seventh and fell one game behind in the three game series.
Dallas Bryan suffered the loss pitching the first five innings and striking out 7. Elijah Bean pitched in relief striking out one.
Brady Meeks was 2 for 3 at the plate with a RBI. Chandler Knight hit 2 for 3 with a double. Tanner Foutch, Taten McBee, Hogan Holland and Houston Mainord all went 1 for 3. Paul Freeman scored the run.
Signal Mountain 6 – Grundy 1
The final score was a repeat of the night before as Grundy saw their season end on Signal Mountain. Signal led 2-0 after two and 3-0 after three. The Jackets got on the board with a run in the fifth but the Eagles added two in the bottom of the inning. They added one more in the sixth to take the 6-1 win and end Grundy’s season.
Houston Mainord suffered the loss pitching the first four innings. Tanner Foutch pitched the last two in relief and struck out 2.
Taten McBee was 1 for 3 with a triple. Brady Meeks and Hogan Holland were 1 for 3 as well. Elijah Bean hit 1 for 4 with a RBI. Tanner Foutch scored the run.