Jeff Davis High’s baseball team rebounded from a series opening loss to Jasper County-Monticello to win back-to-back games against the Purple Hurricanes and advance to the second round of the 2021 Georgia High School Association State Playoffs.
This week the Jackets play another set of Purple Hurricanes as Fitzgerald, an upset winner over Region 4-AA champion Jefferson County, will visit Hazlehurst with two games played yesterday (Tuesday) and the third game scheduled for Wednesday. Fitzgerald is the No. 4 seed from Region 1-AA.
In last week’s opening game on Thursday, the Jackets left seven runners on base as they couldn’t come up with hits at crucial times and Jasper County won 4-1. In Game 2, Cole Baucom pitched a 10-strikeout gem as the Jackets won 7-0, and in Friday’s final game the JD bats unleashed 13 hits in an 11-2 victory.
The Jacket pitching staff had an outstanding performance in the series. They gave up only 10 hits in 21 innings, struck out 36 and gave up only nine free passes on six walks and three hit batters. The Jackets out-hit the Hurricanes 30-10.
In Thursday’s opener, the visiting Canes jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the crowd could get settled in their seats. Jasper third baseman Mac Barton drilled the first pitch he got from Jacket starter Matthew White over the right field fence for a 2-run homer.
Hamp Hayes and White opened the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back singles and the Jackets loaded the bases with two outs but a strikeout ended the threat.
In the third, Trenton Clance and Cade Walters opened the inning with consecutive singles. Two outs later, a walk to White loaded the bases again but a fly out stopped that threat.
With Jasper up 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, White led off with a double and pinch runner Ethan Picanso went to third on a Matthew Glass fly out for out No. 2. But after the ball got away from the Hurricane catcher, Picanso tried to come home but was out at the plate.
Trailing 4-0, Jeff Davis finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh as Ethan Hulett opened the inning with a single, went to second on a passed ball, took third on a wild pitch and came home on another wild pitch.
The Jackets out-hit the Canes 7-6. White had a double and a single, Trenton Clance had a pair of singles, and Walters, Hayes, and Hulett each had singles.
White took the loss, giving up two earned runs on four hits, walking none, hitting one and striking out 11. Duke Stone pitched the final inning, giving up one run on two hits, walking one and striking out one.
After White and Stone combined for 11 Ks in the opener, Baucom and reliever Alex Mason rang up 13 batters in the nightcap.
Baucom blanked the visitors on a single hit. He struck out six of the first seven batters he faced as a Hurricane reached first on an error.
After issuing a pair of walks in the fifth, Baucom picked off the runner at second on a throw to Hulett for the third out.
Baucom got a scare in the sixth as he gave up a single and a walk to put two on with no one out. After a fly out and a pop out, catcher Matthew Glass caught the runner at first too far off the bag and he threw a strike to Cam Williams at first to end the inning.
Mason took over for Baucom in the final inning and, after giving up a lead-off single, he struck out the next three batters to end the game.
Playing as the visiting team, the Jackets scored a single run in the top of the first. Walters and Ethan Griffin got back-to-back, one-out singles. Walters went to third on an error and was waved home on a balk to put JD up 1-0.
In the second, the Jackets got a run on an error to make it 2-0.
The sixth was a big inning for Jeff Davis as Griffin singled and Hayes followed with a 2-run homer that left the park in a hurry. After a fly out, Williams walked on four pitches and Glass and Conner Rea hit consecutive singles and the Jacket lead stretched to 5-0. Trenton Clance then walked to load the bases but a pop-out ended the inning.
The Jackets added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Hayes got a 1-out single and pinch runner Kamden Munsayac scored on a White double. Cason Clance came on to run for White, went to third on a Williams single and scored on the second balk of the game.
Hayes had a single, a home run and two RBI to lead the batting. Griffin and Walters both had a pair of singles, White doubled and drove in a run, Rea had a single and an RBI, and Williams and Glass both singled.
Baucom ended the game with 10 strikeouts, three walks and gave up only one hit. Mason faced three batters, yielding a single and striking out three.
Williams started on the mound in the final game but made it only an inning before an injury forced him to yield to Stone who got the win with a 2-hit, six strikeout performance.
The Hurricanes got two unearned runs in the top of the first inning but the Jackets responded with a 4-run outburst in the bottom of the inning.
Trenton Clance reached on an error to start the Jacket first and Walters and Griffin followed with singles to make it 2-1. With runners at 2nd and 3rd, Hayes grounded out to to short to score Walters and send Griffin to third. Williams got a 2-out single to give the Jackets a 3-2 lead and Glass and Mason both singled to up the tally to 4-2.
Jeff Davis got a single run in the fourth as Hulett walked, went to second on Trenton Clance’s sac bunt, went to third on a Walters single and scored as Griffin singled to make it 5-2.
The Jackets blew the game wide open with a 5-run fifth. Stone and Glass opened with back-to-back doubles to make it 6-2. Hulett then singled to score pinch runner Carter Mullis. Hulett scored on a Trenton Clance triple to make it 8-2. Clance scored on a wild pitch and Hayes got a run scoring single to raise the score to 10-1.
Glass drove in an unearned run in the sixth to close out the JD scoring.
The Jackets had 13 hits, led by Glass with two singles, a double and two RBI. Griffin had a pair of singles and two RBI, Walters singled twice, Trenton Clance tripled in a run, Stone doubled, Hayes had a single and two RBI, and Williams, Mason and Hulett each had a single and an RBI.
Stone won the game going four innings and blanking Jasper on two hits, a hit batter, a walk and a strikeout. Williams pitched an inning, giving up two unearned runs on two hits, a walk and a strikeout, and Mason earned a save with two no-run, no-hit innings on the mound, walking none and striking out four.
Score by innings:
JC-M 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 -4
JDHS 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -1
JDHS 1 1 0 0 0 3 2 -7
JC-M 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -0
JC-M 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 2
JDHS 4 0 0 1 5 1 x -11