The J-Hawk baseball team impressed in many ways Monday night. Before the Varsity game, the players, parents, and coaches of the program secretly ordered and purchased T-shirts in support of Joe Rodenkirk, the father of Head Coach Kyle Rodenkirk. Joe has been battling cancer since 2012, but has continued to be present at almost all of the J-Hawk baseball games besides going through several rounds of chemotherapy. His resiliene and attitude towards life has created lessons for his son which have trickled down to the young men who play for Jefferson. Senior Lucas Larson and Coach Marcus Colbert, with the assistance of Willie Guy, created T-shirts which said "Joe's battle is our battle". The Rodenkirk's did not know about the T-shirts or the presentation planned Monday in which the team and crowd showed their support for Joe. For every $15 spent on a t-shirt, $10 will be donated to the Rodenkirk family. It is a reminder to all there is more to life and baseball than winning and losing, family is above all.
After Joe threw out the first pitch to his son, Coach Rodenkirk, the J-Hawks were ready to play hard and battle. Spencer Van Scoyoc took the ball and never let up on the mound. Using all of his pitches, he struck out two of the first three batters faced to set the tone. He would continue to dominate, striking out one each in the second and third innings, as well as picking off a runner in the second. Caleb Stekl worked a great game behind the plate throwing out another base stealer at third base in the third inning. Van Scoyoc continued to deal, striking out two more swinging in the fourth.
The bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth. After a tough battle at the plate, Tyler Roeder hit a flyball to right field. Caught in the wind, it tailed and fell for a double to lead off the inning. Van Scoyoc was intentionally walked, his second of the night after hitting a sharp single in the first inning. Lucas Larson bunted for a base hit to put on the pressure. The J-Hawks then played small ball, hitting groundballs on the infield which were misplayed by fielders for errors. Four runs would be plated in the inning.
Van Scoyoc and the defense behind him covered up the lead the rest of the way. Van Scoyoc would give up only one more base runner in the sixth inning, as he finished with 7 strikeouts, 4 hits, and 0 walks. His shutout was efficient as he only threw 88 pitches. The defense committed 0 errors in support.
The J-Hawks will play Kennedy again tomorrow, this time at Kennedy. Sophomores will begin at 5:00 with Varsity around 7:00.