By BRIANA HARMON and LARRY TUCKER
After blasting through Quitman in a 20-0 win Friday morning on the road, Mineola drove back to their home field Friday afternoon to win a close 2-1 game against Eustace avenging an opening round 3-2 loss.
Mineola baseball edged out the 2-1 win over Eustace in a duel on the mound to cause a tie between the two teams for the number two spot in District 12-3A play in the race for playoff positioning. With the win, Mineola improves to 5-2 in district and 13-7 overall for the season. Edgewood leads the district with a 7-0 slate.
The Yellowjackets were led by Noah Sneed on the mound who allowed six hits, had one walk and struck out four.
Getting an early 2-0 lead after two innings of play sparked Mineola offensively and Sneed held Eustace hostage from the mound the rest of the way.
In the bottom of the first inning, Aaron “Bubba” Stanford started the Yellowjacket offensive effort with a single to center field. Sneed then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Stanford into scoring position at third base which brought Seth Hudgins to the plate. Hudgins grounded out to third base scoring Standford and giving the 1-0 lead to Mineola.
The ‘Jackets scored again in the second inning when D.J. Hartley hit a line drive to left field which scoreed Jacob Ford who got on base due to an error by the third baseman.
Standford led the ‘Jackets at the plate going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Hartley went 1-for-3 with a RBI.
Eustace struggled at the plate until the seventh inning when they cut the lead to one in after stringing together a pair singles.
At Quitman, Brayden Stehman shut down Quitman hitters tossing a three-hitter and striking out 11 for the game. The ‘Jackets scored early and often taking an 8-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. Mineola outhit Quitman 12 to three in the game, but 13 errors by the young Bulldogs spelled doom for the home team. Jake Farmer started on the mound for Quitman, but gave way to freshman Ben Burroughs who finished out the contest.
For Mineola, Stanford, Stehman and Frankie Meason all had a pair of hits with Jacob Ford batting in three scores.
Quitman fought tough last Wednesday against Grand Saline, having battled to a 6-6 tie through five innings. The Indians would score five more times after that while shutting down Quitman batters which moved Grand Saline to an 11-6 victory. The loss left the Bulldogs 1-6 in District 12-3A and 6-13 for the season.
The ‘Jackets will host district leader Edgewood on Tuesday and head on the road to Grand Saline on Friday at 4:30 p.m. this week and finish out district play with Senior Night against Alba-Golden April 25. Quitman is at Eustace Tuesday and will travel to Alba-Golden this Friday night. The Bulldog season ends at Edgewood April 25.