Runs were plentiful Thursday night as the Xavier Saints and Jefferson J-Hawks split games and ended the J-Hawks 10 run win streak. 39 total runs were scored by both teams as each struggled to find pitching in a jam-packed week full of conference games.
The first game resulted in a 10-5 win by Xavier. With Spencer Van Scoyoc out of the lineup trying out for the USA baseball team in Florida, one would believe the J-Hawks would struggle offensively. The first inning cast away the doubts as the J-Hawks put together 4 hits in the first and pushed across 3 runs. Unfortunately, J-Hawk pitchers struggled to find the zone and the Saints took advantage. They answered back with 6 runs of their own in the first, tacking on two more in the second and never looked back. Lucas Larson continued to hammer the ball, going 3-3 with two singles, a double, two runs, and a walk. Brayden Frazier also added a double and two RBI's. Connor Van Scoyoc was saddled with the loss, giving up 8 earned runs through 5 innings. Zach Szabo finished the game with a scoreless inning.
The J-Hawks rebounded in the second game and opened up with a phenomenal first inning. They nearly batted around twice scoring 11 runs, including 11 straight batters reaching base safely after the first out. Caleb Stekl hit a two run double, followed by hits by Manny Olutunde, Tyler Konigsmark, and another two run double by Cam Frazier. A two run triple and two more two run doubles by Lucas Larson and Caleb Stekl also highlighted the inning. Pitching continued to be a struggle for the J-Hawks, however. Sam Meyer worked through four innings of work, giving up 5 earned runs. In relief, Zeb Render would give up 5 more, all in the 6th inning. Zach Weger, making his first Varsity appearance, pitched a great one and a third innings, allowing no baserunners and striking out two. Xavier scratched and clawed back to within a few runs, but fortunately solid defense by the J-Hawks, including spectacular plays by Lucas Larson and Jared Eivins in the field, assisted by great picks by Colton Knox and firstbase made the Xavier comeback fall short.
The J-Hawks now stand at 14-4, 6-2 in conference play. Tomorrow they play the Mississippi Division leading Prairie Hawks in a doubleheader beginning at 5:00. Come pack the park for this in-town rivalry at the Jefferson Baseball Park!