Mistakes hurt Jacksonville in 5-4 loss to Rusk

Apr. 23—RUSK — Rusk took advantage of several Jacksonville miscues in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Eagles went on to win the regular season finale, 5-4, Tuesday night at Eagle Park.

The Eagles end the year with a 11-16-2 overall record, 2-8 in district (fifth place), while the Indians close the book on the 2024 campaign with a 6-17-1, 1-9 (sixth place) slate.

With Jacksonville leading, 2-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, Rusk got its rally started when designated hitter Carter Holland led off the frame by getting aboard on a passed ball (dropped third strike).

Jacksonville then committed three-straight errors, with Tanner Brooks, Nash Acker and Trent Byers reaching base.

Rusk kept the rally going with Jacob Trawick drawing a walk.

Kade Blankinship followed by clubbing a base hit to right field that drove Acker and Byers in to score.

Jacksonville's Coen Devillier retired the next-three Eagle batters to get out of the inning, but not before the Red and Black had scored five runs.

The Indians responded by getting two of the runs back in the top of the sixth.

James Justice led off with a base hit down the left field line and Harrison Penn followed by received a base on balls.

With two outs Giancarlo Rico laced a base hit to the right center that moved Justice and Penn up a base.

A ground rule double to left center off the bat of Hayden Thompson scored Justice and Penn, which trimmed Rusk's lead to 5-4.

Eagle starter Mason Trowbridge struck out the next Indians that he faced to end the inning.

Trowbridge, a senior, was the game's winning pitcher. He pitched six innings, and gave up four runs, all earned, on five hits. Trowbridge fanned seven and walked three.

Ethan Foster, a southpaw, came on in the seventh inning and struck out the side to earn a save for the Eagles.

Devillier pitched a complete game for the Indians. He didn't allow an earned run, while limiting Rusk to just three hits. Devillier struck out 10 and walked one.

The senior wrapped up his career as an Indian with 213-career strike outs.

Senior Jayden Boyd led off the game with a single up-the-middle for the Tribe. He also stole a base.

Acker and Brooks each had a base hit for the Eagles.

Trowbridge, Byers and Trawick drove in a run apiece for Rusk.