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High School Baseball: Jackson drops home opener to Ste. Genevieve 3-1

The Jackson baseball team was seeking revenge in its home opener against Ste. Genevieve last week, but the Indians fell short and lost to the Dragons 3-1.

Jackson previously fell to Ste. Genevieve in the Ste. Gen/Valle Tournament title game 5-0 on March 16, where the Indians only came away with two hits.

The Indians recorded a total of seven hits in last week’s contest as junior designated hitter Seth Spraggs led the way with two batting sixth. However, Jackson’s only run came in the bottom of the fifth inning off an error by the Dragons.

“Plenty of opportunites and just poor play on our part,” Jackson head coach Bryan Austin said. “We were not very good on the bases — we’re giving them free outs because we’re putting ourselves in bad positions and not tuned in and focused on what we should be doing.”

Senior shortstop Landon Hahn, who already signed with Southeast Missouri State before the season, scored the Indians only run after he stole third base.

Ste. Genevieve’s senior catcher Samuel Stolzer tried to get Hahn out at third, but junior Logan Gegg couldn’t come up with the catch, which allowed Hahn to cross home plate.

“[That score] was a big thing,” Coach Austin said. “One of our goals when we’re on the bases is we want to steal as many bags as possible. We were able to put on pressure right there, and they couldn’t handle that pressure point and it gave us the 1-0 lead.”

Jackson had a chance to score earlier in the contest during the bottom of the second inning when the Indians were able to load the bases with one out after a line-drive single hit by senior third baseman Boone Gartman.

However, the next two batters were unable to provide any offense for the Indians as junior center fielder Kalin Ellis struck out, while Hahn hit a fly ball to center field for the third and final out.

“We were in a perfect position in the second inning, and no matter the outcome of the at bat when we put the ball in play — we have to put the ball in play to try and score there,” Coach Austin said. “Unfortunately, we do not with one out, so now it puts the pressure on the two out to get that done. We had some really good at bats, but we just have to do a lot better with two strikes.”

Senior pitcher Tyler Martin got the start on the mound for the Indians, who only allowed four hits through the first five innings accompanied by seven strikeouts.

In the top of the sixth, the Dragons answered Jackson’s fifth-inning score to tie the ball game on a sacrifice out by senior second baseman Chad Donze, which allowed senior center fielder Brady Boyer to reach home.

Boyer and junior first baseman Keaton Boyer reached base off singles as Logan Gegg bunted to load the bases.

With two men on and only one out, Tyler Martin was able to force a line out and finally struck out freshman shortstop Zachary Boyer to end the top of the inning.

“[Martin] was average at best today,” Coach Austin said. “He struggled at times with his curveball today, but for the most part his pitch count stayed down and he was very efficient. Our defense played really well behind him, and he pitched well enough to win.”

The only offense Jackson finished with in the final three innings was a single by Seth Spraggs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but he was eventually picked off at first base.

This game had to be decided in extra innings, but it only took the Dragons half an inning to take their 2-run lead to pick up the win.

Brady Boyer led off to bat for Ste. Genevieve and was able to hit an inside the park home run to make it 2-1, but Coach Austin knew the play should have been a routine out instead.

Martin had replaced Kalin Ellis in center field after he was relieved of his pitching duties in the seventh innings. Martin missread Boyer’s hit, which allowed the St. Charles Community College signee to score the run.

Ste. Genevieve added its final run of the game when senior Grant Staffen hit a 1-run single off a line drive to send Keaton Boyer home.

Fellow St. Charles CC signee senior pitcher Derek Morganthaler pitched seven innings for Ste. Genevieve, coming up with six strikeouts while allowing one run off seven hits. He also walked two batters.

The Indians start SEMO Conference play this week against Notre Dame Tuesday and New Madrid County Central Thursday at home.

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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