Where Seabrook’s offense left off, its defense picked up.
One of three local teams in the South Arkansas Babe Ruth 15-yearold state tournament, Seabrook’s first four batters produced two runs on four hits, and that was all it needed in a 4-1 victory over Lonoke on Friday at Taylor Field.
Aside from a pair of late runs, the defense did the rest of the work. Ja’Kobi Jackson threw three perfect innings in a sixinning start and only one Lonoke runner reached third base in the final five frames.
“It was a good challenge,” Jackson said. “We just needed to hit the ball more.”
Seabrook tallied six hits, including two from Jackson.
Jackson struck out five and held Lonoke to four hits for the win. Aaron Frazier earned the save after striking out the last two in the seventh.
“(Jackson) pitched consistent enough to get them where they put the ball in play, and that gave us a chance to throw them out, besides the two errors we made,” Seabrook coach Kenn Dickson said.
Seabrook will play the winner of today’s EnglandCrossett game at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the winner’s bracket semifinal. Lonoke will play Twin City (HelenaWest Helena) at 4 p.m. today.
“It will be the same if we hit the ball and keep up the good pitching,” Jackson said, asked what he thought about Seabrook’s chances of winning the tournament.
Seabrook’s defense came up big in the top of the second inning, just after Zach Murray scored on a botched double play attempt to pull within 21. Dylan Smith singled to right field, but right fielder Jaylen Williams made a relay throw to the plate to catch Gabe Rooney for the second out.
Jackson then walked the next batter and struck out the one after to get out of the jam.
No Lonoke runner reached base in the first, third or fourth innings, and it appeared Seabrook’s first-inning onslaught was going to be enough.
Scott Taylor drove in leadoff man Griffen Penny with a double to open the scoring. Jackson followed with a onerun single and Andrew Morgan provided the fourth consecutive hit.
Lonoke’s Logan Dozier retired two batters in two pitches in the bottom of the fifth before John Pierce was hit by a pitch. Pierce scored from first base when Penny reached on an errant throw from second base.
Gage Roberts added the final run with a single to score Jackson in the sixth.
Dozier scattered six hits and struck out two in defeat.