District 12-AAA baseball got off to a rocky start last week for the Mineola Yellowjackets as they dropped back-to-back games against the Eustace Bulldogs.
The teams faced off last Monday in Eustace as the Bulldogs cruised to an 8-1 victory. The teams then met again on Thursday, this time in Edgewood after rain temporarily ruined the field conditions in Mineola. The Jackets lost 12-11 in dramatic fashion.
In last Monday’s game Edgewood got off to a quick start scoring two runs in the first inning. The Jackets however struggled through the first five innings going scoreless.
In the fifth and sixth innings Eustace scored three runs a piece while the Jackets scored just one run in the sixth inning. The Jackets racked up seven hits in the game but couldn’t put them together when runners were in scoring position. The Jackets also struggled with errors as the team committed four in the game.
Connor Dobbs and River Simonek led the Jackets’ offense last Monday with two hits. Simonek also had an RBI.
Cole Castleberry got the start on the mound as he pitched six innings, threw 21 first-pitch strikes and three strikeouts.
In Thursday’s game both the Bulldogs’ and Jackets’ offenses exploded as the Jackets racked up 11 hits while Eustace racked up 17 hits.
Eustace took a 3-0 lead before Mineola scored two runs in the third inning. Then Eustace scored another three runs before the Jackets responded scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 6.
Both teams traded blows like a heavyweight fight as Eustace scored three runs in the sixth inning while Mineola scored one, leaving the score at 9-7. The Jackets then tied the game again after scoring two more runs in the seventh and forced extra innings.
Eustace scored three runs in the eighth inning taking a 12-9 lead. In the bottom of the eighth with the Jackets needing three runs to extend the game, four runs to win, Mineola could only muster two runs as they would lose 12-11.
Offensively the Jackets were led by Cody Ford and Castleberry who each had three hits. Castleberry also added an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored. Ford had two RBI, a walk, and two runs.
River Simonek also had a solid game as he had two hits, an RBI, a walk and three runs scored.
Ford was on the mound Thursday for the Jackets as he pitched six innings, striking out six batters and giving up 14 hits and nine runs. Ford also had 26 first-pitch strikes.
The Jackets’ next game will be Friday on the road at Quitman. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.