Dragons fall in state quarterfinals
BY JUSTIN POOLE
The Jefferson Dragons’ dream of a Class A state title was crushed after facing Pacelli.
The quarterfinal series was in Columbus on Tuesday. The Dragons, coming out of a three game series against Eagles Landing Christian last week, knew that the road to the finals was tough.
Jefferson was shutout in the first game of the double header after the Pacelli Vikings, hanging onto a one run lead, had a two run homer late in the game.
The second game did not fare much better for the visiting Jefferson team as they scored only one run in the sixth inning. Jed Gurley scored for the Dragons after reaching second on errors and taking third after a wild pitch by Pacelli’s Charles Rossi.
Coach Tommy Knight said that Jefferson just had “one of those days” and just did not hit very well.
“If you don’t score but one run in two ball games you are not going to win,” said Knight. “Bottom line, we just didn’t hit the ball. It is kind of a helpless feeling when it starts happening.”
Despite the trouble at the plate, on the mound Jefferson was pitching well according to Knight.
Chris Beck, game one, and Cameron Blinn, game two, started for Jefferson.
“Beck and Blinn pitched extremely well against a good hitting team,“ Knight said. “They threw the ball really well. We just could not get any hits. That is just one of those days, that is baseball and it happens.”
Jefferson is taking it in stride and is already prepping for the summer.
“We meet [Thursday] to organize for summer ball and start playing next weekend. There is not a lot of break in between,” Knight said. “I am proud of what we were able to do this year. We came in with high expectations and accomplished a lot of what people thought we could. It was a good year, when you go 22-7 and make it to the Elite Eight, there is no way you can be disappointed.”
The Dragons end their season with a 22-7 overall record.
In a three game series last week, Jefferson hosted the number three team from 5-A. The Eagles Landing Chargers took the first game of the series winning 11-5 over the Dragons. However, the Dragons rebounded in the second game to win 9-2. After the third game was postponed due to weather, the deciding game was played Friday, May 16.
From the start, Jefferson was hot, scoring Blaine Skaggs after a homerun by Beck. The dragons had a commanding 10 run lead going into the fifth, when the Chargers started a comeback attempt. Eagles Landing scored three runs in the fifth. Jefferson responded by scoring an additional run in the sixth and two in the seventh to end the game 13-3.
The series against Eagles Landing advanced the Dragons to face Pacelli in the quarterfinals, and Jake Fields tying the school record of 18 homeruns in a single season. Fields tied with Tyler Murphy.