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High School Baseball: Jackson defeats Sikeston 13-4 in first road game of the season

The Jackson baseball team (5-1) took an early 7-0 lead over SEMO Conference opponent Sikeston (2-1) after the top of the second inning, which consisted of five runs for the Indians.

The No. 7 and 8 hitters for Jackson, seniors Drew Brown and Will Winingar, were walked to begin the inning leaving the No. 9 hitter, senior Tyler Knight, up to bat with two runners on base.

Knight swung at and connected with the first pitch from Sikeston junior Will Gilmer for a triple into left field to send Brown and Winingar home for two runs.

With Knight on third base, the team’s leadoff hitter junior Cole Welker was up to bat. Welker was walked by Gilmer to bring up senior Jarrett Newell, who popped the ball up for an out in his first at bat.

Welker was able to steal second base after Newell stared down his first ball, and then connected with the ball four pitches later for a triple of his own into centerfield to put Jackson up 6-0 over Sikeston.

Senior Braeden Dobbs was struck out after Newell’s second at bat, which brought up senior Colten Weber with one out and Newell on third.

Weber, who received his first start at pitcher this season in the game, hit the first pitch to left field for an out, but this allowed for Newell to advance home for Jackson’s seventh and final run of the second inning.

Weber struck out two Bulldogs while allowing two hits, but was able to strand those two runners to end his first inning pitched of the year.

The bottom of the second inning would not fair as well as the first for Weber pitching wise since he allowed a three-run home run after walking two batters.

Hitting the home run for Sikeston was senior Trey Smith, who Jackson Head Coach Bryan Austin said had a great swing on the pitch.

“I wasn’t really worried about the three-run homer because [Weber] made a really good pitch,” Coach Austin said. “[Smith] barreled [the pitch] up and made one heck of an offensive play for him. I’m more concerned about the walks.”

Following Weber’s first two walks of the inning, he struck out the next two batters before allowing the home run.
Following the home run, Weber walked two-straight batters, which forced Coach Austin to take Weber out of the game at pitcher and put in Drew Brown from third base to replace him.

“They weren’t really hitting [Weber] hard for the most part — we’ve just got to get better in the [strike] zone,” Coach Austin said. “[Weber is] going to get there — we are not too worried about that.”

With Brown taking over for Weber, and Weber moving to catcher, Jackson only allowed Sikeston to score one more run through the rest of the five remaining innings.

The Indians scored in all but two innings of the game with the first time being in the  top of the third with three-
straight Indians retired.

Sikeston loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning with no outs after Brown allowed one hit and walked two.

Sikeston senior Camden Sapp connected on his fourth pitch from Brown for a fly ball into left field, but Welker came up with the catch for the out to only allow the Bulldogs to score one run.

“I told Cole [Welker] he saved us two runs right there by that catch,” Coach Austin said. “They got a run — but he realistically saved us two, and that was a fantastic play.”

In the top of the fourth inning, Jackson scored three more runs to go up 10-4 highlighted by a two-run bunt from Newell, which was assisted by an error at first base by Sikeston.

The Bulldogs did not score another run after the third inning, and the No. 9 batter for Jackson, Knight, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for another Indians score.

Jackson stranded one runner in the sixth inning for no score, but Newell gave his team a 9-run lead after a two-run homer in the final inning of the game.

The Indians had a total of 10 stolen bases in the game with junior Justice Crosnoe leading the team with six for the night.

Jackson will play its first tournament of the season starting Monday in the Midwest Classic at St. Charles.

Jackson heads back down south to face Cape Notre Dame Wednesday and finishes the week in the classic.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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