The Jefferson R7 Blue Jays kicked off the season with a dominant 10-6 win over Grandview for their first victory of 2022, but stumbled against West County in the followup with a 12-2 loss. The young Jays squad showed what they are capable of in the opener, but took it on the chin in game two after some defensive struggles and command issues.
The first game of the season didn’t start the way the Blue Jays would have hoped, surrendering four runs in the first, but this upstart Jefferson squad showed some resolve and hung in there. Max Schnitzler scored on a wild pitch in the first to get R7 on the board, but things would get worse before they got better.
Grandview tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the third to take a 6-1 lead, but that deficit would be short-lived. The Jays broke it open in their half of the third with six runs, and took advantage of a pair of costly errors, helped by patience at the plate a couple timely hits. Then three more errors, a walk and a single added three more runs for R7 to carry them to double digits and seal the victory at 10-6.
Schnitzler was all over the base paths with three runs scored after his 1-4 effort and Jack Hueter scored twice after being issued a pair of walks. The Jays only had five hits and two RBI, but managed to expose Grandview’s defense by consistently putting the ball in play. They forced eight errors and turned that into 10 runs.
On the pitching side of things, Cole Robinson got the start and allowed six runs (three earned) over three innings, while allowing two hits, three walks and struck out four. Hueter closed out the final two frames and didn’t allow a baserunner while fanning three. It was a solid overall win to kick off the season.
Head Coach Robert Kuehnle shared his thought son the game, saying, “We played rough in the first couple innings, but got some timely hits and had a great showing from Cole Robinson and Jack Hueter on the bump. It was good to see those two throw it that way. It means good things for the season.”
The second game started off with West County drawing first blood, but the Blue Jays roared back in their half of the first with a pair of runs thanks to Gavin Theodoro. He stroked a double to center and brought in Sam Stokes and Colton Richardson to give R7 a 2-1 lead.
That advantage would be fleeting though as West County came storming back with a five-run third. Then, to squeeze some lemon juice into the wound, they blew the doors off in the fourth with a six-run inning that triggered the mercy rule and see-sawed Jefferson’s season with a truly sour turn of events.
Richardson got the starting this one and went three innings, allowing six runs, but only two were earned after a costly error. He struck out two and allowed just two hits, but struggled with his command, as witnessed by his six walks. Theodoro was responsible for all of the offensive production in this one.
Coach Kuehnle commented on the loss with, “We just weren’t there against West County how we wanted to be. We started off great, but made too many mistakes. Richardson threw the ball well and we just had too many mistakes on defense. These days happen though and we just have to get back after it against Arcadia Valley.”
The Blue Jays will try to get back in the win column on Tuesday, March 22nd as they travel to Arcadia Valley. Here’s hoping we’re talking about 2-1 as opposed to 1-2.