JH Baseball Wins 2 Games Full of Excitement
The Junior High Baseball teams squeaked out two closely contested victories over the South Central Calhoun Titans on Friday, June 24th. The 7th graders remained undefeated on the season after a come from behind win in the bottom of the 3rd inning to win by the score of 5-4. In another one run ball game, the 8th graders jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage after the two innings, holding on to win by the score of 4-3.
In the 7th grade match-up, SCC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before SV and Casey Hanson could make his way around the bases to get one run on the board entering the 2nd inning, an inning that remained scoreless for both teams and still a 3-1 score going into the bottom of the 3rd inning. In the first two innings of the ball game, SV had only one hit through the first nine batters of the game. The Jaguars were finally able to get a base hit by the number two hitter in the line-up, Jacob Reck. But unfortunately for the Jaguars, two outs were already recorded and SV needed to stay level headed and strike at the right time with a two-out rally after Hanson grounded out to shortstop, and Karson Roper lined out to shortstop. Back-to-back base hits by Logan Jaescke and Wyatt Goodpaster (Goodpaster's hit scores Reck for an RBI, SV now trailing 2-3) were pivotal in creating the opportunity to climb back and either tie or take the lead. Kolton Ollinger then used great patience and discipline at the plate, earning a base on balls after a full-count and a 7 pitch at bat, which then resulted in a wild pitch and passed ball. At this point, I'm sure the crowd was holding on to their seats. Jaeschke, who was on third, easily scored; and with a overthrown ball back to the SCC pitcher in an attempt to tag Jaeschke out at home, Goodpaster advanced to third and with the error between the catcher and the pitcher he rounded the hot corner aggressively and didn't put on the brakes as he sailed on in to score the leading run with the Jags now up 4-3. Ollinger, who started the at bat with a walk, then took advantage of the situation and made his way all the way around the bases to third. Rake Kilstrom followed with a walk before Spencer Peterson was able to make contact at bat and drive in Ollinger to increase SV's lead to 5-3. In the top of the 4th and final inning, Hanson looked to close out the game and earn the win and the save. With the first at bat of the inning, the Jaguar defense grounded a ground ball to second base and got the out at first for the first out, followed by a 4 pitch walk and then a strikeout to record the second out still leading 5-3. Things were looking good with two outs and a runner at bay on first, but the top of the order for SCC was now coming up and they were ready to swing away. Both the number one hitter and the number two hitter in SCC's line-up attacked on the first pitch of the at bats and both earned base hits, scoring the runner who was on first to cut the lead from 5-3 to 5-4. Now with the tying run on 2nd base and the potential winning run on 1st, the pressure was definitely on. Facing the number 3 hitter for SCC, a hitter that was already 2-2 with two singles in the game, Hanson was able to get the batter to swing on the first pitch with a ball up in the zone that was popped up straight above the catcher, nearly reaching the height of the lights. With a toss of the catcher's mask and a few side steps up the 3rd base foul line into foul territory, Kilstrom made the final out of the game. SV relied on plenty of defensive gems in the field, as the two SV pitchers (Karson Roper and Hanson) only struck out one SCC batter apiece. The defense only made one error in the ten outs the SV fielders put out and assisted on. Solid teamwork, opportunistic baserunning, and timely hitting, all while staying level headed and above the pressure, allowed the young Jaguars to earn the 5-4 victory and keep a perfect season alive. The 7th grade record now sits at 11-0 with one game to go.
In the 8th grade game, SV was the team to jump out to an early 3-0 advantage after the 1st inning. By the conclusion of the 2nd inning, the Jaguars put one more run on the board and led 4-0 entering the third inning. Through three innings of work, Drew Temple only allowed one hit, no runs, and five base on balls with two strikeouts. Ryan Stewart was then called upon to close out the game, where he struggled a bit to find his groove, as he walked three of the first four batters he faced. Ultimately, in the end, Stewert settled in and struck out the final two batters he would face in back-to-back at bats to end the game and hold on to the save. Temple was able to hang on and record the win on the mound. It was another high pressure scenario, similar to the 7th grade game, where the tying run was on second base and the potential winning run was on first. Another similarity was that this too was a situation where Stewart was facing the number one and two hitters in SCC"s line-up, with both players putting the ball in play twice in their previous at bats. The final two strikeouts were greatly needed and very timely as the hard stop time limit was down to the final at bat of the game. Offensively, the 8th grade team recorded five base hits in the game, led by Nate Spencer with his double and RBI in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Colin Johnson, Temple, Ethan Tucker, and Drew Dorsey all recorded one hit apiece. Scoring for the Jaguars were Lincoln Akins, Johnson, Temple, and Johnny Gregory. Johnson added an RBI and Dorsey earned a stolen base for his efforts on the base paths. The 4-3 victory now improves the 8th grade record to 3-7 on the season with one game remaining.