The Indians have a full slate this week with six games in six days, and they’re currently halfway through. The first two couldn’t have gone any better with huge victories over Oakville and Cape Notre Dame. Jackson pummeled the Tigers 13-5 on Monday and shut out the Bulldogs 13-0 on Tuesday.
They would face one of their toughest tests of the season on Wednesday though, having to take on a 12-1 Vianney squad. The Tribe had an excellent showing, but lost in walk-off fashion 2-1 in the 11th inning of a marathon pitcher’s duel. The Indians certainly wanted a different final result, but the effort in this one was plain as day.
Let’s start with the good news first though. Jackson struck hard early and often against Oakville on Monday. They put up two in the first and then used an RBI double from Quinton Borders and a booming two-run homer from Baden Hackworth to plate three more. That dynamic duo would strike again in the next inning to score two more runs and build the lead to 7-0.
The Indians would tack on another two in the fourth, one in the fifth and then three more in the sixth to break the game wide open. They put up a crooked number in five of the seven innings, and despite the Tigers managing four runs in kind of a sloppy fifth, Jackson still coasted through this one with a 13-5 victory.
Caden Bogenpohl got the start and the win with 3.1 inning of one-run ball, but that lone tally was unearned and he fanned six against just one walk and no hits in his outing. Hackworth and Borders were the heavy hitters in this one as they each drove in three. Hackworth had the game’s only homer and Borders reached base in every plate appearance, save his sacrifice fly.
The Indians ran wild once again with 13 stolen bases to frustrate the pants off of Oakville. Bogenpohl had four, Borders had three and Jack Wyatt, Grant Dotson and Henley Parker each had two.
That win made it five in a row for the Tribe and set them up with a date against Notre Dame in Cape Girardeau. The Indians were not kind dinner guests in this one, as they spoiled the Bulldogs’ evening with a 13-0 drubbing.
Jackson scored two in the second, three in the third and three in the fourth before opening the floodgates in the fifth with a five-burger to rip off 13 unanswered runs and trigger the mercy alarm. The offense was on full display once again with Hackworth going 2-for-2 with four RBI and Cooper Rhodes driving in three with a 2-for-4 effort.
The Indians had nine hits collectively and stole 11 more bases. This team simply can not be contained on the base paths.
That was a combined effort, but on the mound it was a solo performance. Carson McDaniel stymied any possibility of hope for the Bulldogs in this one with five perfect innings. He saw 15 batters and mowed them down in order, not allowing a single runner to reach base. He joins JP Sauer as the second Indain to throw an abbreviated perfect game this season.
That win made it six in a row for Jackson but segued into a fearsome matchup with a very tough Vianney team. In their third straight road game, the Indians would have to travel to St. Louis to take on the Griffins, and while it was an instant classic, it ended on a sour note.
The Tribe struck first with an RBI-single from Rhodes in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0, and looked poised to take this one, but three errors in the bottom of the seventh led to an unearned run that tied the game at 1-1 and sent it to extra innings.
Four scoreless frames later and Vianney walked it off with an RBI-double in the bottom of the 11th. It looked like Jackson had this one in the bag, but unfortunately the game got away from them and they weren’t able to close.
Still, it was another brilliant performance on the mound by Sauer, who had them set up to pull off the upset victory. He went 6.1 innings and allowed two hits, no walks and just one unearned run. He fanned 10, and the hits were his first allowed this season. He has yet to walk a batter in 2023 in his three starts.
Bogenpohl was brilliant in relief as well with 3.2 innings, just one hit allowed and eight strikeouts. Offensively, the Indians were stymied by great pitching and only collected three hits on the day. Rhodes, Bogenpohl and Dotson each had a base knock.
Not a fairytale ending for sure, but the Indians just need to have some short-term memory loss and forget this one ever happened. They still have three more games to play this week. They will take on Dexter on Friday before a double-header against Nixa on Saturday.