Pine Bluff Seabrook scored nine runs in the top of the third inning and Jakobi Jackson struck out 10 batters in six innings as they defeated White Hall 10-5 in the Babe Ruth 15-year-old state championship Wednesday night at Taylor Field.
“A dropped fly ball, a dinker and a misplayed groundball,” White Hall manager Russ Sparks said. “It just kind of snowballed on us.
“… We finally got out of it and were only down five, so we had a chance. But we didn’t have an answer for (Jackson’s) curveball.
“My hats off to Jakobi. He did a great job on the hill for them.”
White Hall scored all five of their runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead, but Seabrook answered in the top of the third by sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring six of their runs on two outs.
“After a stern talking to, we decided we were going to come out and play,” Seabrook manager Kenn Dickson said. “Every now and then you have to do that, because they just weren’t ready to play.”
With one out, Jackson’s fly ball to right field was dropped and Gage Roberts was hit by pitch. He later scored on an RBI single by Andrew Morgan. It cut the deficit to 5-2.
Morgan finished the game 1 for 4 with an RBI but was the only Seabrook player to not score a run.
“They did not want that inning to end,” Dickson said. “Because they kept putting the ball in play.
“That’s when the concentration level goes up and it kind of becomes contagious. When we are hitting like that, it is very difficult to beat us.”
Trent Goodman’s two-run single with two outs gave Seabrook a 7-5 lead. He finished 1 for 2 with a run, two RBIs and two walks. Joe Moore led Seabrook at the plate finishing the night 2 for 2 with a run scored and two walks.
“I would have never guessed we would have given up nine runs in one inning,” Sparks said. “We are too solid of a defensive team. We have played too well to lay an egg like that.”
Jackson pitched six innings and allowed five runs on six hits in the win. He gave up three walks along with the 10 strikeouts.
“We knew we would have to face him for six,” Sparks said. “We just didn’t have an answer.”
Jackson tallied two hits and scored a run Wednesday night as well.
“We got down on ourselves but a couple of hits got us back up,” Jackson said.
White Hall tallied four hits in the bottom of the second as they took the four-run lead. Jordan Gober had a two-run single and Chase Bryan hit a two-run triple to right center.
“We didn’t start out well on defense,” Jackson said. “But I kept my composure and just kept throwing strikes.”
Jackson did not give up another hit until Dylan Cantwell’s lead off double in the sixth inning.
“He did a great job on the mound today,” Dickson said. “We were shaky because he couldn’t pitch but six innings, so we had to make sure we had enough runs.”
Dickson brought in Aaron Frazier in the seventh inning and after giving up a lead off single, Frazier got the next three to fly out, ground out and strike out.
“He has a great fastball, but this is a great fastball hitting team,” Dickson said. “So that doesn’t match up well.
“… We got them out just in time.”
Dutton Day was tagged with the loss for White Hall after lasting just 2 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. White Hall used five different pitchers in the game.
“Once we gave up the nine runs, I think the kids kind of laid down a little bit,” Sparks said. “… We just couldn’t ever get anything going.”
Seabrook advances to the Babe Ruth Regional, which begin on July 24 in Siloam Springs.
“That competition is going to be stout,” Dickson said. “You have to bring your ‘A’ game every night or you’ll get your hat handed to you.”