By Robert Wilson
Ole Miss has one of the best college baseball teams in the country, currently ranked No. 3 in the nation and has a legitimate chance to winning its first national championship.
If Madison-Ridgeland Academy senior right-hander and Ole Miss signee Brayden Jones pitches like he did last week, he might be able to get some playing time on the mound next year as a freshman despite the tremendous amount of talent in Oxford.
Jones allowed only two hits and no earned runs and struck out 11 with three walks in 6 2/3 innings in a 3-1 victory over three-time defending MAIS Class 5A state champion Jackson Prep to end Prep’s 11-game winning streak Friday at Prep in Flowood.
For his outstanding performance, Jones has been named the Two Men and a Truck/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Baseball Player of the Week.
Jones was dominating in the win over Prep, which came into Friday with a 20-2 record and ranked No. 2 in Mississippi by MaxPreps. He struck out four of the first six batters before giving up a walk and a single in the third inning. Jones struck out six in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings without allowing a hit. He allowed a one-out double, followed by his 11th strikeout and a walk before being taken out of the game. Jones threw 98 pitches, 59 strikes.
“I thought Brayden did an excellent job executing his pitches and managing the game,” MRA coach Allen Pavette said. “He is a bulldog on the mound.”
Jones has a 5-0 record with one save and a 0.00 earned run average. He has allowed only 11 hits with 51 strikeouts and just eight walks in 29 2/3 innings for MRA, which is 17-6 and ranked No. 9 in Mississippi by MaxPreps coming into this week.