In the first game, won by the Eagles, 9-7, the best of baseball was seen. Great plays were made, both teams hit the ball well, the fans were in the game, and the fans in the outfield cheered on their Cubs in a very vocal manner, even adding the roar of motorcycles when the Cubs scored.
The Eagles pitched their No. 1 pitcher, Shed Long, against Alexandria’s No. 1 Logan Doss.
The Eagles drew first blood in the top of the second inning. A single by Sid Thurmond, a successful bunt by Chance Marbut and a walk by Lavontae LaCount loaded the bases for Jacksonville. Nate Whaley was hit by a pitch to score the first run of the game. In a strange play, Payton Sims came up to the plate with the bases loaded. Hitting back to the pitcher Marbut was thrown out at home and on an attempt to throw out Sims a collision occurred between Sims and the Alexandria first baseman. The ball went into the outfield scoring two runs and Jacksonville had a 3-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for the Cubs to retaliate. In the bottom half of the inning with two outs, Derrick Turner hit a double to center and Zachary Carrizales hit a single. Turner came home on a passed ball and Carrizales scored on a triple by Jonathon Watts. Another passed ball scored another run to tie the game at 3-3.
The Eagles scored again in the third. Thurmond hit a single and scored on a triple by Marbut.
In the top of the fourth Jacksonville took a 5-3 lead. A walk by LaCount and two errors loaded the bases. Long walked and the Eagles had a two run lead.
The Cubs tied the score in the bottom of the fifth on singles by Ethan Curvin, Dalton Cobb and a double to right center by Doss to plate two.
Jacksonville battled back. Whaley was walked and a new pitcher, James Fisher, came on for the Cubs. Payton Sims also drew a walk but was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice. Whaley was also thrown out at home on another fielder’s choice but Tanner Sims hit a single to left to score a run and another run scored on a Thurmond single.
Leading 7-5, Sid Thurmond came in to pitch for the Eagles, eventually picking up the win. With two outs, Jacksonville made an error, Curvin hit a single and then Jacob Whiting connected on a double to tie up the game.
With two outs for Jacksonville in the top of the seventh, Andrew Clingan hit a single. Payton Sims reached on an error and Long hit a double to score Clingan. Bell hit a single to score Payton Sims and the Eagles had a 7-5 lead going into the bottom half of the seventh.
With the bases loaded and two outs Thurmond got Curvin to pop out to short and Jacksonville had the first win.
Thurmond led the Eagles with three singles, Marbut had a triple and single, Long a double and Bell, Tanner Sims and Clingan all had hits.
Jacksonville’s momentum was short lived. In the second game the Cubs had a 6-0 lead before the Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth on doubles by Long and Bell.
The Eagles cut even further in to the Alexandria lead in the fifth. With the bases loaded on singles by Clingan, a walk by Whaley and single by Payton Sims, Long got an RBI when he was walked and a sacrifice fly by Bell brought in another run.
Jacksonville got the game to within one, 6-5, in the bottom of the sixth. Jared Tippets got things started with a single up the middle. A single by Whaley and a Cub error scored Tippets.
Alexandria quickly proved that this game belonged to them. In the top of the seventh Whiting belted a homerun over the left field fence. The Cubs scored six runs in the inning and won 12-5.
Long and Bell both had doubles for the Eagles, Tanner Sims and Whaley had two singles and Payton Sims, Tippets and Clingan each had hits.
The deciding game on Saturday was all Cubs after the second inning. Jacksonville, the visitor for this game, scored in the first inning on singles by Long and Bell and a double by Tanner Sims.
In the second inning Whaley scored Marbut who had reached on an error.
The rest of the game was all Cubs as Curvin pitched a complete game and the Cubs scored nine unanswered points for the 9-2 victory and moved on to round three of the playoffs.
Nate Whaley had two singles for the Eagles, Tanner Sims had the only extra base hit, a double, and Payton Sims, Long, Bell and Thurmond, all had singles.
While Jacksonville hit the ball well, it always seemed to go straight to a Cub player. Alexandria on the other hand, hit the ball often to the opposite field and always seemed to find the gaps.
The Eagles finished the season 22-11 and say goodbye to five seniors, Andrew Clingan, Shed Long, Tanner Sims, Jared Tippets and Nate Whaley.