The Jackson baseball team put on quite a show for its senior night matchup against the Ste. Genevieve Dragons last Wednesday afternoon at home. The Indians (7-2) shut down the Dragons (1-5) in three quick innings, Jackson 15 run-ruled the Dragons to bring home a huge win.
Standout senior catcher Baden Hackworth had an incredible night for the Indians. Hackworth, who has signed with Saint Louis University, produced two doubles with only three at-bat appearances. Of those at-bats, he also recorded two runs batted in and had no problem stealing third base late in the third inning.
“Anytime you have a catcher that is very solid behind the plate, has a great arm and can kind of slow down the run game, but also swings the bat probably even better than his defensive skills, you have a double-threat guy,” Jackson head coach Josh Roach said of Hackworth.
Baden more recently moved to Jackson from Sikeston and has had no trouble fitting in with the team. When asked if it was strange not being in Sikeston for senior night he answered, “A little bit because I lived there for the first 16 years of my life, and it will always be like home to me.”
Defensively, junior pitcher John Paul Sauer had no issues as he threw a three-inning no hitter. Sauer didn’t give up any bases, and Ste. Genevieve only made it once through their batting lineup. Of course, Sauer’s pitches were backed up by the infield efforts of Jackson’s defense.
Three of the Dragons players were thrown out at first. Senior first baseman Landon Watkins caught a throw from Hackworth and two throws from senior second baseman Jackson Wyatt to get ground outs at first.
Throughout the game, one could tell the Indians baseball team really works well with each other and have built good relationships. Hack-worth went on to say, “One thing about JP [John Paul] is he’s a real goofy guy, so whenever he’s on the mound we’re laughing and joking throughout the whole game.”
Jackson was getting consistent hits at the plate throughout the lineup. Senior third baseman Quinton Borders also recorded two RBIs from his three at-bat appearances, hitting two singles and finishing the night with a batting average of .666. Quinton has signed with Crowder Community College to continue his baseball career.
In other offensive efforts, seven of Jackson’s ball players combined for nine steals, including two steals from Borders and two from Wyatt. Notably, Wyatt scored one of the Indians runs off of a steal late in the third inning.
All of the seniors brought something to the table in the big win Wednesday afternoon. Designated hitter Clayton Ernst had two runs for his two at-bats including a double in the bottom of the first inning.
In that same inning, senior left fielder Steven Schneider hit a single, bringing home fellow seniors Dylan Hayman and Landon Watkins. Steven is among many of Jackson’s players to have committed to a college, he will be moving on to play baseball at Maryville University.
Among the giant senior class other players have had no issues early in their season statistically. One of Jackson’s many talented pitchers Caden Bogenpohl leads the team in runs scored with a wild total of 16 and has committed to play at Missouri State University.
Senior Colton Hartle currently has a batting average of .286 including three singles in the nine times he’s been up to bat. Not to mention, shortstop Henley Parker has already recorded four double plays in the Indians eight games and plans on playing baseball for Jefferson College next year.
Even though Jackson is a 12-senior-deep class, Coach Roach has a positive outlook for the next few seasons. “The underclassmen juniors, sophomores, you know not getting a ton of playing time at the varsity level, so we keep preaching to them when this great group transitions out you’re next up.” Roach said. “So there’s going to be a lot of spots to fill, and there’s going to be a lot of talent to do that.”
Multiple other athletes have already committed to play baseball at the collegiate level. Grant Dotson is committed to Three Rivers Community College and Dylan Hayman and Kaden Kendle have signed with State Fair Community College.
With high expectations for the rest of their season, the Indians have been ranked No. 2 in Class 6 by max preps. Talking with Coach Roach about these expectations, he said, “If you get too far ahead of yourself and you start worrying about what’s down the road like state tournaments and districts, you forget about what’s right in front of you, which is today’s game. … We try not to get too excited about those numbers yet.”
As for the Ste. Genevieve Dragons even though Wednesday wasn’t their day, they had a few noteworthy plays. Junior pitcher Bryant Schwent totaled two strikeouts in the stat box in the two innings he pitched. Along with Schwent, junior Wyatt Springkamper had two fly ball outs in center field.
The Indians travel Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to Oakville, Notre Dame and Vianney, and they finish off the week Friday with a home game against Dexter.