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Northwest Wins Series 2-1 over Hinds, Advances to MACJC Tournament

Photo courtesy of Northwest Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Northwest Sports Information

Needing two wins on Saturday at Jim Miles Field to keep its season alive and advance to next weekend’s MACJC Baseball Tournament, Northwest did just that, sweeping Hinds by 7-3 and 9-2 finals to win the series, 2-1, and clinch one of four spots in Ellisville.

Northwest improved to 28-17 overall and ended its home slate at 18-6, while Hinds’ season came to a close at 25-22.

After a gut-wrenching, 12-11 loss in 10 innings on Friday in which the Rangers committed a season-high seven errors, Northwest had their work cut out for them on Saturday.

Gritty performances by starters Jarod Wright and Dalton Minton on the mound, who allowed only three earned runs in a combined 15 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks, kept the Eagles in check while the Ranger offense went to work.

Seven different Rangers combined for 21 hits in Saturday’s sweep, paced by sophomore Aleck Hobson’s 5-for-7 day, a grand slam by Jamell Newson and four hits apiece from Ryan Skalnik and Aaron Campbell.

(Game 2) Northwest rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and scored six runs in the third, highlighted by Newson’s first collegiate home run (grand slam), to pull away for a 7-3 win and force a decisive Game 3.

Back-to-back two-out RBI-singles from Ryley Balch and Will Craft gave Hinds a 2-0 lead after two.

Aleck Hobson’s leadoff single in the third ignited a big Ranger rally, with Hunter Wilson scoring him off an RBI-double and then coming around to tie the game at 2-2 on an error by the third baseman. Two batters later, Newson unloaded on Trent Driver’s 0-2 pitch, launching a grand slam to right to cap a six-run frame and put Northwest on top 6-2.

Leading 7-2 after four, Wright (4-5) retired 11 in a row on the mound to keep it a five-run game and pitched through the eighth, striking out a career-high nine Eagles to earn the win.

Hinds scored off a wild pitch in the ninth to make the final 7-3.

(Game 3) Northwest broke open a 2-2 game in the fourth with seven unanswered runs, including Hobson’s one-out single to right that plated Hunter Bishop for the eventual game-winning run for a 2-1 series win.

The Rangers scored single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, added three more in the sixth and then put the finishing touches on the Eagles with Campbell’s solo home run to the football field in the eighth.

LeeMarcus Boyd, Skalnik and Campbell all had run-scoring at-bats in the sixth.

Minton (3-0) won his third consecutive decision on the mound, scattering six hits, one earned run and six strikeouts on 118 pitches to earn the decisive Game 3 win. J.R. Miller tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

Hinds used six pitchers in the loss, with Colin Coates (1-2) taking the loss in two relief innings.

Northwest will face 2nd-ranked Jones County (43-5) to open conference tournament play on Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in Ellisville. Meridian and East Central will play the early game at 2 p.m.

Courtesy of Northwest Sports Information

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
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