Sometimes all it takes is one key victory to turn your season around. That is what the Jefferson R7 Blue Jays are hoping their 7-4 victory over the Woodland Cardinals achieved.
The Jays have had a tough go of it lately. They split a double-header to open the season, but found nothing but struggles the rest of the way, until Wednesday’s tilt against Woodland. They have a favorable schedule moving forward, facing teams with losing records in their next three games, so this victory could be the push they need to get back in the business of winning games.
They had a rough stretch that included an 11-7 loss to North Point, a 7-1 loss to Valle Catholic, a 4-3 loss to Bayless and a 4-0 loss at Windsor before cracking the win column once again. The highlight during the four-game losing streak was that the North Point and Bayless games were close, and showed the level of competitiveness this team is capable of when stepping on the diamond.
That competitive spirit shined through on Wednesday against the Cardinals, and translated to a much needed victory for this now 2-5 squad.
The game started off as a timid affair between the two clubs, but the Blue Jays broke through in the third inning with a crooked number on the scoreboard. A walk, a single and an error generated the first run and set the stage for Sam Stokes to step into a pitch. He laced a single to center field and plated a pair of runners to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Woodland would strike back in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs though, benefitting from some shaky defense and wildness on the mound. That made the game 3-2, and both clubs would cling to that score until the game’s final inning.
And the Blue Jays came ready to sew this one up. Back-to-back singles from Max Schnitzler and Garrett Lalumondier set up Gavin Theodoro, who delivered an RBI single to extend the lead. Later in the inning, Lalumondier scored on a wild pitch just before Kole Williams delivered a two-RBI single to right that plated two more.
That gave Jefferson a 7-2 lead with just three outs to go. Some more shaky defense in the bottom half of the inning led to a pair of unearned runs, but the Blue Jays were able to hang on and snuff out the comeback. They put the W in the books as a well earned 7-4 victory.
Cole Robinson was on the mound and went the distance in this one, tossing seven innings without allowing an earned run. The four that crossed the plate were results of defensive miscues so statistically he had a clean sheet as far as his ERA is concerned. He allowed six hits and a walk while fanning seven.
Lalumondier paced the offense as the only player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Williams and Stokes each had a pair of RBI generated from their lone hits, and seven of the nine offensive starters reached base via hit.
The win was a breath of fresh air for a club that desperately needed one. Hopefully they can funnel the momentum into next week’s tilt against Arcadia Valley and put back-to-back Ws in the books.