The Varsity J-Hawks traveled to Cedar Falls and suffered a tough conference split. The first game ended in a score of 6-3. Jefferson jumped to a 2 run lead as Jared Eivins led off the first inning with a double and Lucas Larson lined a single to left to score him. Caleb Stekl started the second inning with a walk. Jacob Beaton entered as the runner, and after a fielder's choice out by Cam Frazier, Beaton took third base and then home after an errant throw by the firstbaseman with no one covering third. From there, the J-Hawks struggled to string hits together. Colton Knox would score in the fifth, but that would end the J-Hawk offense. Connor Van Scoyoc pitched the first game. He breezed through the first two innings. However, he too would run into trouble in the later innings as Cedar Falls rallied. Cedar Falls plated two runs in the fourth, but really broke it open in the fifth. Two walks to start the inning chased Van Scoyoc. Eivins came in for relief, and the first two batters just snuck singles past the infielders to add pressure. A fielder's choice and another weak single pushed two more runs across in the inning. They would manufacture one more insurance run in the sixth which doomed the J-Hawks.
Jefferson rebounded in the second game. The second and third innings were big for the J-Hawks as they scored 5 runs. Manny Olutunde led off he second inning with a single and took second on an errant throw by the pitcher. Brayden Frazier sacrificed him over to third and Cam Frazier walked. Stekl would hit a ground ball to score Olutunde for the first run. Then, Colton Knox delivered a big hit to right-center for a triple and an additional run. In the third inning, the J-Hawk bats would string several hits together to plate three runs. Larson and Van Scoyoc hit singles to put runners at first and third. Van Scoyoc would steal second with Larson taking home on the throw. With one out Olutunde hit a groundball to the shortstop but sped to first base for the infield single. Both Olutunde and Van Scoyoc were then sent home as Brayden Frazier smacked a big double to deep left field off the fence. Jarred Wood kept the Tigers on hold for most of the game, throwing the first 5 and 2/3 innings, striking out 6 and giving up 3 runs. The trouble came in the sixth inning for Wood as two singles and a walk loaded the bases, plus a wild pitch sent a run home. Roeder entered in relief but could not retire a batter, which resulted in Zach Szabo taking the mound to finish the inning with a strikeout. The J-Hawks recieved a bit of cushion in the top of the seventh as Lucas Larson, who finished the night a triple short of the cycle, hit a towering flyball to left field that found its way out of the park for a two run jack. Cedar Falls continued to scratch and claw though as the J-Hawks struggled to put away the Tigers. After two quick outs, Szabo ran into trouble. A walk and two weak groundball singles, both nearly fielded by Szabo, loaded the bases. Another walk scored a run and forced the J-Hawks to use another relief pitcher. Colton Knox came into the game with the tying run at firstbase and the leadoff hitter up. After a full count, Knox managed to strikeout the hitter to end the game and earn the save. The final score was 7-4.
The J-Hawks are now 28-7 and 19-5 in conference play. They next play Saturday at Burlington in a Sophomore/Varsity doubleheader beginning at 5:00. On Monday, they host Dubuque Hempstead for senior night in a Varsity conference doubleheader, also beginning at 5:00. The J-Hawks can gain an overall conference title as well as their division title with a sweep Monday. Come support the seniors in their final regular season home game that night! More details about senior night will be released Sunday.