What was supposed to be an average road game for the Macon Bacon turned into baseball history books being rewritten in the 8-5 win over the Forest City Owls.
Head Coach Kevin Soine couldn’t make the game due to being ill, leaving Bench Coach Kianna Jones to lead the team as interim Head Coach.
“I was super surprised,” Jones said. “Kevin was like, ‘Hey, you know, I can't be there today’ and put Cody and I in charge.”
Soon, Jones found out she wasn’t just “put in charge”.
“I started getting all the texts from Brandon [Raphael] and everyone saying, ‘Hey, you're the interim Head Coach’, so that was super exciting for sure. Being able to have that opportunity and also represent the team is exciting,” Jones said.
With Jones moving into the Head Coaching position, not only did she become the first woman to ever fill the position in college summer ball but also the second woman to act as a manager in baseball history, following in the footsteps of Rachel Balkovec of the Class A Tampa Tarpons.
After shaking hands with the Owls' Head Coach at the plate meeting, Jones went to work to make sure the Bacon would win their third game of the season.
The Bacon started off with an early 2-0 lead by the second inning, taking advantage of the poor fielding by Forest City.
Macon extended their lead 4-0 in the fourth, but the Owls matched the two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit down to 4-2.
The Bacon finally cracked open their big lead in the sixth with a bases-clearing double by shortstop Dominic Arienzo to making the score 8-2.
Forest City's attempted comeback was cut short by solid relief pitching, and the Bacon took home the win 8-5.
Jones paved the way for a decisive victory against the Forest City Owls and proved herself as an asset to the Macon Bacon roster.
It wasn’t only Jones’s skill and experience that got the Bacon the win, but the confidence the team had in her as well.
“The support that they gave me also gave me confidence in myself to be able to make those decisions in game about who we wanted to have throw on the mound, who we wanted to have at the plate, so that was really awesome,” Jones said.
Jones will once again be the acting Head Coach against the Lexington County Blowfish tonight in the absence of Kevin Soine.