The Jefferson R7 Blue Jays are on some kind of hot streak and have completely turned their season around. After posting back-to-back wins earlier in the week they entered the Oak Ridge Invitational Baseball Tournament over the weekend and won all three games to claim the championship.
First they edged out the host team, beating Oak Ridge 4-3 to move on to the semifinals. There they faced Crystal City and took them down 8-5. That set up a showdown with the St. Vincent Indians in the finals and the Blue Jays not only won, but laid a 14-4 mercy beating on them to win the whole thing.
The game against Oak Ridge was the tightest of the three contests, and Jefferson used solid pitching and timely hitting, while taking advantage of Bluejay miscues to secure the victory. Gavin Theodoro was on the mound and tossed five solid innings, allowing just one earned run (three total) while striking out three. He also drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single to give R7 a 1-0 lead.
Oak Ridge fired back in the fourth with two runs to take charge, but the Blue Jays answered with two of their own in the fifth to retake the lead. The other Bluejays would tie it up in the bottom of the inning, but with a runner on third and two outs in the sixth, Kole Williams smoked a line drive to center to put Jefferson up 4-3.
Gavin Bradshaw came in to pitch the bottom of the final inning and slammed the door on Oak Ridge with a perfect frame that featured two Ks. Garrett Lalumondier, Sam Stokes, Williams and Theodoro all had RBIs in the victory. And the Blue Jays were off to the semis.
That set them up to play the Crystal City Hornets, and the Jays got past them 8-5 to earn a trip to the finals and take on the St. Vincent Indians. The Championship game started off on a sour note, with the Indians scoring in the first and second innings to go up 2-0, but Jefferson answered back in the bottom of the second with an RBI single from Wyatt McDaniel to cut the lead in half.
St. Vincent would get two more in the top of the fourth to go up 4-1, but something woke up the Blue Jay bats, and they went on a tear. They cranked out five runs in the bottom of the fourth to take their first lead of the game. A pair of bases-loaded walks brought in the first two runs of the frame, but the big blast was a Cole Robinson triple that cleared the bases and plated three more.
After that Jefferson decided they were done messing around and figured they’d just end it. Eight runs would trigger the mercy rule so they figured they’d just go ahead and score eight more in the bottom of the fifth. RBI singles from Stokes and Camren Johnson, coupled with run-scoring doubles from Robinson and Blake Hampton provided the bulk of what the Jays needed to get their 10-run advantage.
The 14-4 win not only got them a trophy, but made it five in a row and boosted R7’s record to 7-6. It’s the first time they’ve been over .500 all year.
Robinson had a huge day with two hits, four RBI and also toed the rubber in this one. He got the win after pitching all five innings while allowing just one earned run. He walked just one batter and struck out three. Hampton, Theodoro, McDaniel and Stokes all had two hits apiece in the championship victory as well.
The Blue Jays are playing their best baseball of the season right now, and they’ll look to keep it going next week as they take on Valley Park on Thursday, April 20th.