Jeff Davis High School’s baseball team is suffering through its longest losing streak in years as they dropped three games last week to bring there losing streak to four.
After two losses to Region 2-AA foe Benedictine, 2-1 Tuesday in Hazlehurst and 6-5 in nine innings Friday in Savannah, and a non-region loss to Fitzgerald 6-5 Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets dropped to 15-11 overall and 8-4 in the region. They have two more region games on the schedule before the playoffs, Tuesday (yesterday) and Thursday, both against Bacon County.
Last Tuesday the Jacket bats could produce only five singles. But they out-hit the Cadets 5-3 as senior hurler Ross Rush pitched well enough to win but his teammates couldn’t produce the runs.
JD led first, 1-0 in the second, only to see the visitors score a single run in the fourth and and an unearned run in the sixth to pull out the 2-1 decision.
Rush went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one earned run on three hits, walking two, hitting one and striking out four. Braydon Creech pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, giving up no hits, walking one and striking out one.
Getting singles were Alex Sanders, Chandler Davenport, Seth Graham, Garrison Miles and Britt Metts. Sanders also had a sacrifice.
The defense committed two costly errors.
Wednesday, the Hurricanes from Fitzgerald came to town and it looked like the Jackets would win in a breeze.
The Jackets scored two runs in the second and third innings, and added a single run in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. But in the top of the sixth, Fitzgerald scored five runs to tie the game and added the go ahead run in the seventh to take the 6-5 win.
Senior catcher Ryan Rush was the offensive leader, getting two singles, a double and a sacrifice and driving in two runs. Miles plated a run with a single, and Sanders, Davenport, and Cristian Torres added singles. Garrett Baucom also had a sacrifice.
Freshman Cole Baucom started on the mound and hurled a one-hitter through five innings, allowing only two baserunners. He walked one and struck out five and left the game with a 5-0 lead. Caleb Parlor pitched 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, walking none and striking out one. Garrett Baucom took the loss, pitching 1 1/3 inning and giving up an unearned run on two hits, walking none and striking out four.
While the loss was hard to swallow, there was a bright spot in the return to play of senior, All-State outfielder Hunter Foster. Foster was 0-for-2 as designated hitter but he was hit by a pitch and scored a run. Foster hurt his hand during the off season and had played sparingly as a pinch runner with his hand in a cast. The game marked his first at bat of the season.
In Friday’s game in Savannah, the Jackets’ play was much improved.
The game started out with a quick controversy as Foster walked and, after making his way to third, a fly was hit to the outfield and Foster ran back to third to tag up and went home with the game’s first run.
But the Cadets appealed that Foster had left early and the third base umpire called him out, saying Foster did not return all the way to the bag. JD Coach Stephen Wilcox immediately questioned the call and was joined moments later by Coach Paul Glass. Their main argument was that the umpire was out of position to make the call and could not see if Hunter tagged or not. But their argument failed and the lost run proved to be the deciding factor in the game.
After a solo homer in the bottom of the first and a 2-run shot in the third, the Cadets led 3-0.
But JD rallied in the top of the fifth, also using the long ball as the Jacket seniors led the way. Foster drew a lead-off walk and Sanders followed with his first career homer, a high blast over the left field fence, to make it 3-2. Davenport then followed that with a homer, also over the left field fence, to tie the game 3-3. Senior Garrett Baucom singled and then the sophomores took over. Sophomore Colby Marchant drove Baucom across the plate with a double to put the Jackets on top 4-3. Sophomore Braydon Creech came on to run for Marchant and moved to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Jashaun Kirby then lofted a sacrifice fly to center to drive home Creech to make it 5-3.
Benedictine came back to tie the game 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
Davenport took the mound in the seventh and shut out the Cadets for two innings but the hosts managed to score an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.
Sanders and Davenport both pitched well for the Jackets but a win wasn’t in the cards.
Sanders went six innings, giving up five runs on five hits, walking two and striking out nine. Davenport pitched 2 1/3 innings, yielding two hits, walking none and striking out three. He took the loss on the unearned run.
Score by innings:
BC 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 -2
JDHS 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1
Fitz 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 -6
JDHS 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 -5
JDHS 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 -5
BC 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 -6