|Jefferson routs Fort Jennings on the diamond|
|Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:23 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — Jefferson got rolling from the start of its baseball game versus Fort Jennings on a brilliant Wednesday afternoon at Wildcat Field.
The Wildcats scored nine run in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 17-1 rout in a 5-inning non-conference contest.
“We didn’t necessarily hit the ball that hard but I liked our approach. We put the ball in play and didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches,” Jefferson head coach Doug Geary said. “Their pitchers weren’t throwing strikes, so we made them throw more pitches. We’re looking to build more and more confidence at the plate, on the mound and in the field.”
The Musketeers (4-11) didn’t help their cause defensively with eight errors and numerous other plays they could have made.
“You can’t beat anyone committing that many errors. I don’t care if you’re 4-11 or 13-5; you won’t win games doing that,” Musketeer coach Eric Schwab said. “You have to make plays, so matter what.”
Mark Metzger led off the game against Jefferson starter Austin Jettinghoff (1-0) with a single to left but was stranded at second.
The Wildcats (13-6) forced Musketeer starter Metzger to throw 47 pitches (22 for strikes) in the bottom of the first. They were the beneficiary of four errors, three walks and four hits, including a bases-clearing double to right field by Jordan Herron, an RBI double to deep left by Ross Thompson (3-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), a run-scoring hit by Seth Wollenhaupt and a sacrifice fly by Jettinghoff to account for the nine tallies.
With Alex Sealts on in relief in the Jefferson half of the second, two more Orange and Black miscues to the first two batters (Herron and Zavier Buzard) allowed for Thompson to launch a 1-out, 2-run single to make it 11-0.
The Musketeers got a 1-out infield hit to second by Dylan Van Loo in the third.
Jefferson added four more runs in the third on two errors two free passes and two hits, including the no-doubter 2-run blast to left by Kortokrax (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs). They also got an RBI groundout by Zach Ricker to make it 15-0.
Alex Vetter worked a leadoff free pass in the visitor fourth against Wildcat reliever Thompson but couldn’t take advantage.
Jefferson tacked on its final two runs in the fourth, this time without an error. They had three hits, including a run-scoring triple by Kortokrax. They also got a run-producing groundout by Herron to finish the scoring.
The Musketeers got on board against Herron in the fifth on a bases-loaded free pass to Sealts.
“Austin had been coming out of the bullpen most of the year, so this was a chance to see what he could do starting, especially with a couple of league games coming up. He threw strikes,” Geary added. “Ross and Jordan also got an inning in between their starts just to keep them ready. We’re trying to set up our rotation as we head down the stretch.”
Schwab challenge his players.
“We have to be ready to compete from start to finish, not only against our opposition but against ourselves,” he added. “When things start to snowball, like today, you need your veterans to step up and stop it. We had three upperclassmen out today for various reasons and only one senior; we didn’t have it on the field today. We’re a very young team that needs to learn from this quickly.”
Jefferson hosts Columbus Grove today (5 p.m.); Fort Jennings hosts Kalida 5 p.m. Friday (switched from Kalida).