GREENWOOD -- Trey Holloway knows first-hand what's it's like to pitch under the pressure of the big stage.
The Greenwood baseball coach also knew that freshman pitcher Landry Jurecka would be able to handle it when he penciled him in as the starter in the Bulldogs' quarterfinal matchup against Arkansas High in the Class 6A state baseball tournament.
Jurecka rewarded his coach's confidence by allowing just five hits and no earned runs in a 6-3 win that moved the Bulldogs (30-3) into the tournament semifinals at 2:30 p.m. today.
"That kid is a warrior," Holloway, the former Razorback pitcher, said. "The great thing about us and our players is that they work hard and they get after it."
Holloway had Connor Noland, the Arkansas signee who probably would have gotten the start for other coaches, but Holloway never wavered on his decision.
"Not a doubt in my mind," he said when asked if he second-guessed himself before settling on Jurecka. "Jurecka has done a great job. He's 8-0."
Jurecka said he didn't feel any pressure with the high stakes of single-elimination that comes in state tournament play.
"I wasn't nervous at all," he said. "I just looked at this as just another game. I just came here to pitch."
Even after Texarkana's Drake Browning cranked a two-run home run off Jurecka in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 2-2, Jurecka said he didn't lose focus.
"I was more mad than anything," he said. "I wasn't really hitting my spots. I missed with a slider and left it up right at his shoulder and it got up in the wind."
Greenwood answered back in the bottom half of the third inning, scoring four runs against the Razorbacks (19-10), including back-to-back solo home runs from Noland and Colton Sagely. The Bulldogs added two more runs on a sacrifice fly and RBI single to take a 6-2 lead.
A strong wind blowing out helped both teams on the deep fly balls, Holloway said.
"It was good for us to be able to get those back-to-back," Holloway said. "We were knocking on the door there two or three times, had the bases loaded with one out and we should have drove a run across there. But we live to fight another day and we'll just get after it tomorrow."
Noland and Sagely each had two hits for Greenwood. Browning added an RBI double for the Razorbacks for a three-RBI day.
D. Adcock, Nix (3) and Williams; Jurecka and Smith. W - Jurecka. L - Adcock. HRs - Arkansas, Browning. Greenwood, Noland, Sagely.
Jonesboro 3, Greenwood 0
Haylee Davis allowed just four hits and the Lady Hurricane broke a scoreless game with three runs in the top of the fifth inning to advance to today's semifinals.
Davis struck and three and walked two to earn the win in a pitcher's duel with Greenwood's Kaila Cartwright, who also allowed just four hits and struck out six.
Maddi Miles delivered a huge two-run double for Jonesboro (18-11) in the fifth. Cartwright had two of Greenwood's (20-6) four hits.
Sports on 05/12/2018
Print Headline: Jurecka delivers for 'Dogs