Jacob Arms had an RBI in Jo Byrns’ 8-0 win over McEwen last Tuesday. PHIL STAUDER

Jacob Arms had an RBI in Jo Byrns’ 8-0 win over McEwen last Tuesday. PHIL STAUDER

Jo Byrns swept a pair of games from McEwen last week to sew up the regular season 9-A title.

In the first game last Monday, Bryce Cox and Jacob Arms combined on a two-hitter to lead the Red Devils to a 6-1 win.

Jo Byrns broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth.

Cox led the Red Devil offense with two hits and two RBIs.

Rudy Tucker had a two-run single, Noelan Woods had a hit, an RBI and scored two runs and Zach Henegar had a hit.

The next day, Jake Chennault with the distance on the mound and allowed just four hits in an 8-0 shutout of McEwen.

Woods led the offense with a double and a triple and knocked in three runs.

Tucker, Tyler Carlisle and Henagar also had hits for the Red Devils. Arms, Chennault and Jackson Head knocked in runs.

Jo Byrns will enter the District 9-A tournament, which will start May 6 and be played at McEwen High School, as the top seed. It is quite a turnaround for a team that started their season 5-10 overall and lost their first district game.

“We've got some younger guys playing in some key spots and we figured it would take us a little while before we started gelling and getting it together and figuring it out,” said Jo Byrns coach John Mark Hendricks. “We knew all year long we would take our fair share of bad games and lose some games, but as long as we continued to work on what we could control and focus on things that are in our control we would get a lot better.  

“We're slowly growing. We still have a lot more to learn and a ways to go before we can consider ourselves to be where we want to be, but we're slowly getting there. I'm proud of them and I couldn't be happier for the group of kids.”

After losing their first district game of the season to East Robertson, the Red Devils won their last five to take the title. Over those five games they allowed their opponents to score a total of only 12 runs. Hendricks noted that his pitching staff is performing well.

“We’re getting a lot from our starters right now,” he said “They are able to go deep in games. Bryce Cox and Jake Chennault are who we tend to start and then we bring in Zach Henegar if either one of those get in trouble first. But they've really been able to carry us deep in games, they've limited walks and we're making teams put the ball in play and we're trying to make plays behind them.”

While Hendricks said he is proud of what his team has achieved so far, he has told them that this is no time for them to rest on their laurels.

“We are really stressing to our kids that we have just fought for a seed at this point,” he said. “We still have to go in the tournament and get the job done. There's definitely enough talent in our district for us to go out and lose a couple games so we really have to stay focused and keep it going.”

This week, the Red Devils will play Stewart County Thursday and Friday and host Clarksville Northeast on Saturday.

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