It’s never easy to live up to the hype surrounding a talented team, but the first game of the season for the Jackson Indians was certainly a step in the right direction. The Varsity Baseball squad faced off against Hillsboro and clipped the Hawks’ wings in the the opener with a dominant 9-3 victory.
The Indians jumped out to an early 3-0lead in the top of the first inning after a two-RBI single by Clayton Ernst and run that scored via a passed ball, but they weren’t close to being finished. They tacked on another in the third on a second Ernst RBI-single before adding two more in the fourth on a sharp line drive to left field by Caden Bogenpohl. Just like that the Indians were up 6-1 and firmly in the driver seat.
Hillsboro took advantage of a pair of two-out walks and an error to plate a couple runs and cut the lead to 6-3, but Jackson came roaring back in the top of the seventh with three more of their own to seal the deal. A double set the stage before three consecutive two-out singles and an error bumped the score to 9-3 and sunk the Hawks for good.
Ernst was the biggest offensive force in this one with four RBI courtesy of a 3-for-4 performance at the dish. Quinton Borders loomed large as well with his own 3-for-4 day and recorded the game’s only extra-base hit while scoring a pair of runs. Bogenpohl (2) and Logan Bruns (1) were responsible for the three RBI not accumulated by Ernst.
As for the action on the mound, the triumvirate of Bogenpohl, Cayden Drum and JP Sauer held the Hawks to just three runs (zero earned) on two hits and six walks. Bogenpohl got the start and the “W”, tossing a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts against just two walks. Drum came on in long relief with three innings, allowing the three unearned runs on two hits and three walks with five Ks, before Sauer closed the door in the final two frames, allowing a solitary walk as his only blemish. He fanned six in his two innings.
The Indians certainly didn’t disappoint in their season opener and will look to keep the line moving. The game against Dexter on Thursday 3/24 was cancelled due to rain, but a flurry of activity over the weekend awaits at the Willard Tournament to get this 2022 campaign really underway.