The Greyhounds had inwardly circled last Wednesday’s road game against Dutchtown as key in determining the trajectory of their season.
A 12-3 rout of the Bulldogs now injects Jones County as among the contenders atop the region in addition to Monday’s 8-2 home win against Ola, which before Monday had just one region loss.
Jones County and Dutchtown play Thursday in Gray, a game that was originally scheduled for last Friday before being postponed due to weather conditions.
JCHS traveled to Ola on Tuesday. After Thursday’s contest against Dutchtown, just four region contests remain against Woodland and Stockbridge.
JCHS rallied from an early 1-0 deficit on Monday against Ola, batting around in the third inning to push five runs across the plate. A pair of hits by Aiden Payne and John Alan Richter led the Greyhounds with Keagan Baxter being responsible for two runs driven in. Jacob Thompson pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits.
Ahead 5-1 through three, Jones County added a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth.
The pivotal third inning started with a trio of Greyhounds loading the bases, Conner Bass and Payne on a walk and Sutton Kemp on a bunt single. After a Trent Hardy single tied it, Keagan Baxter doubled to make it 3-1. Richter and Dawson Harris would go on to drive in two more runs to end the big inning.
The Greyhounds jumped all over Dutchtown in Wednesday’s big win, scoring three times in the first and three more in the third to lead 6-3 through three frames before scoring twice in the fifth, once in the sixth and three times more in the seventh to pull away for the big win.
Not only did Thompson have three hits, but he was also one of five Greyhounds to collect two hits, joining Aiden Payne, Baxter, Bass and Harris. Bass and Baxter also each had a pair of stolen bases.
JCHS wasted little time doing what’s become a trademark of its batting order this season - putting runners on base and turning those chances into runs.
After Payne singled and Hardy drew a walk to begin the game and Baxter was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Thompson made the Bulldogs pay. His two-run single scored Hardy and Payne while Baxter would go on to score on a Tucker Mix grounder.
Thompson sparked the Greyhounds to three more runs in the third. After doubling to left, Drew Jones, courtesy running for Thompson, came into score on a Bass single. Bass would go on to score on a Sutton Kemp groundout with Harris singling in Austin May.
Mix and Bass started the fifth with back-to-back singles. Once again, the base hits resulted in runs scored with a passed ball and wild pitch later in the inning resulting in two more Greyhound runs and an 8-3 lead.
That was a more than comfortable cushion for Thompson, who got the win on the mound. In six and two-thirds of an inning, he gave up three runs on eight hits, striking out eight and issuing no walks.
But he also continued to help himself at the plate in the sixth, scoring Baxter on a sacrifice fly. In the top of the seventh, three two-out singles in a row from Harris, Payne and Hardy resulted in three runs scored by Tucker Maddox who was running in place of Harris as well as Payne and Hardy on consecutive singles by Hardy and Baxter.