Marshall Boggs reached base safely five times, including a three-run home run in Game 1, to help the Meridian Golden Spikes notch a doulbeheader split, a 10-6 win and a 9-4 loss, with the Jackson Gems in Deep South League Baseball action Wednesday.
In the opener, The Golden Spikes managed to come from behind on three separate occasions before eventually coming away with a win.
"I kind of that got that feeling early on that we would be able to come back," Meridian coach Monty McMullen said. "Our offense is going to score, I knew we were going to score some runs."
In Game 1, the Gems jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first on RBI groundouts by James Peterson and Hunter Twitty.
Meridian responded emphatically in the bottom of the frame when second baseman Marshall Boggs by launching a first pitch fast ball over the left field wall for a three-run home run.
"You have to stay short and compact to the ball," Boggs said. "You're not going to get a base hit off the handle with a wooden bat, and you have to try and barrel up everything.
"I was able to keep my hands inside and got the barrel head out in front, and I was able to hit the ball on the sweet spot of the bat."
Added McMullen, "Marshall can hit. He's going to be playing Division I ball before long."
In the second, the Gems tied the game when Kevin Lopez scampered home following a wild pitch. Ryan Wesson then put Jackson back on top, 4-3, after lifting a sacrifice fly to right field.
In the third, Jackson loaded the bases on a fielding error, walk and single. Jackson Twitty then delivered a two-run double to give the Gems a 6-4 advantage.
But that would be all that Jackson would manage to score from that point on as Meridian pitcher Brock Montgomery limited the Gems to one base runner over the next three innings.
"It was all a matter of getting Brock into a rhythm," McMullen said. "He had a few mechanical issues, his right shoulder was flying open, and as we went he fixed them and settled in. I told him to just go back to the basics and have good balance and stay closed as long as possible. I think he made those adjustments and he gave us a chance to come back."
Meridian answered the Gems rally with one of their own, scoring four runs, three of which came on wild pitches. Matthew Russell's RBI single capped the rally with a run-scoring single to give the Golden Spikes an 8-6 lead.
Meridian added two insurance runs in the sixth on Caleb Derouen's RBI groundout and Danny Barnett's run scoring single.
"We have some good table setters," McMullen said. "These kids all the way through the lineup can really swing it, and I think that's going to give us an advantage."
Added Boggs, "Everybody was patient at the plate today. We drew some walks and everybody hit the ball well."
In the seventh, Derouen relieved Montgomery and struck out two batters, in sealing the win for Meridian.
"Everybody was a team player today," Boggs said.
Jackson 9, Meridian 4
In Game 2, Rodney McKay logged five strong innings, striking out six batters in earning the win for Jackson.
The Gems were led by Marc McMillan who recorded two hits, scored two runs, while driving in three. Additionally, Ryan Wessom notched three base hits and scored three runs.
For the Golden Spikes (14-5), Boggs drove in two runs on one hit, while Will Myers registered a pair of hits.