Bigger games lie ahead next week for Jefferson, but the Dragons took care of a region doubleheader against overmatched Cedar Shoals in high-scoring fashion Monday.
The Jefferson baseball team (13-4, 8-0 Region 8-AAAA) defeated the visiting Jaguars 17-1 in four innings and 15-0 in three innings to run its winning streak to eight games. The Dragons, ranked No. 6 in Class AAAA, close the series Wednesday (March 24, 5:55 p.m.) on the road in Athens before a beginning a major three-game region series with No. 2-ranked Flowery Branch.
Monday’s lopsided victories allowed Dragon coach Tommy Knight to empty his bench.
“Those guys, they work their butts off in practice everyday just like everybody else does, and they deserve to play in a game like that,” Knight said of the team’s reserve players. “And they did a good job.”
Rem Maxwell blasted a first-inning grand slam during an 11-run inning to start Game 1. Austin Redmon ended the opener three innings later with a walk-off, two-run shot in the fourth inning which brought the run rule into effect. It was the first career home run for the junior.
“I was really proud of Austin Redmon hitting a home run at the end of the first ball game,” Knight said. “That was exciting for him.”
Coleman Watkins went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in Game 1, while Nick Sellers went 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Clay Fulcher was 1-for-1 with two RBIs. A third-inning run by the Jaguars ended a steak of six-straight shutouts for the Dragons.
J.J. Rapp belted a two-run homer to highlight the night cap as the Dragons recorded their fourth run-rule win in region play. Rapp enjoyed a five-RBI performance in Game 2, going 2-for-3 at the plate. He had a two-run double in addition to his two-run home run.
On the mound, Landon Richards and Hop Aldridge — who joined the team after not having played since middle school — combined for a three-inning no-hitter.
Richards struck out the side in the first and second innings, while Aldridge struck out the side in the third inning.
“I’m proud of the guys for how they handled a game like this,” Knight said of the victories.
JEFFERSON 2, CHESTATEE 0
Jefferson was coming off a 2-0 home victory over Chestatee Friday (March 19) as Cole Watkins allowed just two hits over six shutout innings, walking three batters and striking out six batters as the Dragons earned a sweep over the War Eagles. Jase Peoples worked the final frame, allowing no hits or walks.
Matthew Perrin led Jefferson offensively, going 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie.
Though the Dragons scored just twice, they finished with nine hits. Rapp had a multi-hit game in addition to Perrin, going 2-for-3.