The Jefferson baseball team didn’t lack for pitching against Parkview but couldn’t find the timely hitting it needed to upset the defending Class AAAAAAA state champions.
The Dragons (1-5) lost 3-0 to the Panthers on the road Thursday (Feb. 27) in a game they trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs.
Jefferson outhit the Panthers 5-3 but was unable to string together the hits it needed to get on the scoreboard.
“We had opportunities,” Dragon coach Tommy Knight said. “We had a lot of runners left on base. We had opportunities. If we get a hit here or there, or even if we get a squeeze bunt down, that ballgame’s a little bit different. It’s probably tied going into the fifth.
“But I don’t want to be satisfied. We haven’t played really well up until the past couple of ball games. We can play with anybody when we play well.”
Jefferson starting pitcher Rem Maxwell threw five innings, allowing three hits and three runs. He surrendered just one hit through the first four innings. That hit was a triple to Jon Ponder in the bottom of the fourth inning, followed by a sacrifice fly from Dobbs Bowden, which brought home Ponder.
Maxwell recorded two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning before surrendering a two-run home run to Bowden.
“Rem threw the ball really well,” Knight said. “He hung a slider there, and the guy turned on it and hit it out. That was really the only bad pitch he made all night. I can’t say enough about him. That’s a good-hitting team. He threw the ball really well.”
Jackson Perry worked the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing a hit and no runs with one strikeout.
“And then Jackson came in that last inning and threw the ball well, too,” Knight said. “So, I was very pleased with our pitching.”
Jefferson had its chances to score, too, putting two runners on with no outs in the top of the first inning and then two on with one out in the top of the fifth inning, but came up empty both times. Mason Cooper was thrown out in the sixth inning, trying to score on a base hit from J.J. Rapp.
Though Knight wasn't content for his team to just play well against Parkview — Class AAAAAAA's No. 2-ranked team — the coach said his group is showing signs of progress.
“Absolutely, the first four ball games were not really good, but tonight I thought we played really good. And maybe this will get us going,” he said.
Jefferson returns to action Saturday (Feb. 29) at 10 a.m. against Marist at Loganville. The Dragons will play later that day at Loganville at 3:30 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.