Coleman Barbee threw a complete game, and Patrick Overstreet went 3-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored as Jackson County beat Region 8-AAA leader Hart County 4-2 Monday to clinch a spot in the Class AAA playoffs for the second-consecutive year.
Barbee allowed seven hits, two runs (both earned) and five walks while striking out six. In addition to Overstreet, Joel Ellis had a big night offensively, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Andrew Fogarty also drove in a run, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. Chris Griggs, Brett Bowen and Nick Corso each had one hit for the Panthers.
With the victory, the Panthers won their 17th game of the year, setting a single-season school record.
Jackson County (17-6, 8-4) plays East Jackson tomorrow and closes its region slate Wednesday at Hart County. The Panthers are still shooting for the no. 2 seed out of Region 8-AAA — and the no. 1 spot is still mathematically possible — but they at least now know they're assured a spot at state.
"It's a breath of fresh air; it's kind of like you take a deep breath," Jackson County coach Tommy Fountain said of clinching. "By the same token, that's not where we want to be. We feel like if we can get a good seed out of this thing, then we've got the parts to even make a little bit of a run for a couple of rounds (in the state tournament)."
For more coverage of this story, see the April 23 edition of The Jackson Herald.
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