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Jeans held the Cats in check with just 3 scattered hits while walking 1 and striking out 11 batters. He outdueled Paris senior Jake Clark (5-4), who went the distance and also allowed just 3 hits. Clark walked 2, hit 1 batter, and struck out 2 Hawks.
Paris, 13-11-1 overall and 3-5 in district, hosts the North Lamar Panthers Tuesday at Hub Hollis Field and closes the regular season next Friday, April 25, at Liberty-Eylau. PG, which began district play 0-2, climbs to 6-2 with the win. The Hawks are 17-9 overall.
In other district games Friday, Pittsburg beat L-E, 7-1, and NL shut out Atlanta, 1-0. Heading into the final week PG and NL remain tied atop the standings at 6-2. They meet in the district finale at Pos Long Field with the district title on the line.
Meanwhile, the remaining four teams are scrambling for the final two playoff berths. Pittsburg is in third place at 4-4, Paris and Atlanta are tied at 3-5, and Liberty-Eylau is 2-6.
PG jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Hudson Hopkins walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Jeans’ one-out single. The Hawks added an unearned run in the third. No. 9 hitter Jacob Smith started the frame by reaching second base on a two-base error, and he scored on an RBI single by rightfielder Hopkins.
Jeans allowed a 2-out double off the wall in the first inning to Clark, who then stole third base before being stranded. Casey Reavis singled in the third inning, and Drew Helberg singled in the fourth.
The only other Wildcat base-runners came on a walk to Clark in the sixth and a dropped-ball strikeout to Philip Nance in the seventh. Clark advanced to second base on a passed ball. Otherwise, it was a punchless offensive showing for Paris.
The Cats have never missed the playoffs since dropping to Class 3A six years ago. So what must they do to keep that streak alive? They must sweep their final two games to ensure at least a play-in game. Anything less leaves destiny in other teams’ hands.