May 21, 2024 at 12:28 a.m.

Patriots finish strong

JCHS uses five pitcher in 9-4 win over Blackford in regular season finale
Jay County High School's second baseman Parker Nichols fields a ground ball during the first inning of the Patriots' 9-4 win over Blackford on Monday. The Patriots utilized five pitchers in the regular season finale. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)
Jay County High School's second baseman Parker Nichols fields a ground ball during the first inning of the Patriots' 9-4 win over Blackford on Monday. The Patriots utilized five pitchers in the regular season finale. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)

The first and final innings didn’t go the smoothest for the Patriots in the regular season finale.

Yet, they have a lot of positives to build upon as they transition into the postseason.

The Jay County High School baseball team finished the regular season with a 9-4 victory over the Blackford Bruins on Monday on the backs of five different pitchers.

“A win is a win,” JCHS coach Farr said. “It was good to end the regular season with a win going into the tournament, so that’s good for them.”

Jay County (13-11) used a committee of pitchers against Blackford (18-8), with each seeing a maximum of nine batters.

Zedrian Vazquez and Cody Rowles both only tossed two innings, while Sam Myers, Jackson Edwards and Aiden Phillips finished the game out with an inning each.

Vazquez and Phillips were the only two to give up runs in the game.

In the first inning, Vazquez gave up a walk to Ethan Morris and shortly after committed an error on a pickoff attempt to allow Morris to reach third base. Morris then scored on a groundout by Gabe Baker.

After the early mistakes, the Patriots kept things clean until the seventh.

“The guys have had the same level mentality all through the year,” Farr said. “I get uptight about that stuff because I expect us to make those plays consistently and they’re high school kids and won’t be perfect. I get that.

“But, we’re getting down to tournament time where you’ve got to make those plays, because other teams are going to capitalize on them and that can be your season.”

Aiden Phillips, a sophomore at Jay County High School, fields a grounder on Monday's regular season finale against Blackford. Phillips pitched the final inning during the Patriots' 9-4 victory. (The Commercial Review/Andrew Balko)

 

While JCHS didn’t commit any errors in the seventh, Blackford got to Phillips a bit by drawing two walks and slashing four singles on hard-hit balls through gaps in the infield. The sophomore gave up three runs before buckling down and blowing three straight fastballs by Trey McIntire.

Rowles, Myers and Edwards all threw scoreless innings. Rowles shut down the third and fourth innings with five strikeouts, Myers gave up a leadoff single but managed three outs in the fifth and Edwards never allowed a runner to reach base in the sixth.

“I thought everybody threw really well,” Farr said. “Cody had a couple good innings, but that consistency right there was his best.”

Along with pitching in the fifth inning, Myers played a big role at the plate for JCHS. He was involved in three of the four innings in which the Patriots scored runs.

In the first, Myers hit a ground ball to second base that scored Edwards. In the fourth, he smoked a ball at Mason Merkel who recorded the out but let Edwards score. In the sixth, Myers finally reached base as he smashed an RBI double to deep left field to plate Rowles. He later came around to score as part of a four-run inning.

“At the end of the day, it’s about moving your guys around and getting them in,” Myers said. “Even if you aren’t getting hits, you have a job to do.

“That’s basically all I can do. If I’m not getting hits, who cares? It’s just a stat and I’ve got to be a team player.”

Other runs in the sixth came on a ground ball by Parker Nichols, an error on Max Bonewit in left field and a single by Joe Geesaman.

Blackford coach Tony Uggen felt the two runs in the second inning acted as a turning point, as both came as a result of mistakes. The first was an errant throw by Nick Ely on a dropped third strike and the second was a pickoff attempt that McIntire threw wide of first base.

“I told them the game changed when our catcher lobbed the ball down to first base on the strikeout,” Uggen said. “If he makes that play, they don’t score two runs, it's 1-1 and a completely different ballgame.”

The Patriots ride a pair of wins as they prepare for the sectional later this week. Their first game will be on Friday at approximately 7:30 p.m. at Yorktown against the winner of Wednesday’s opener between Centerville and New Castle.


Jay County Patriots vs. Blackford Bruins

Blackford (18-8)
abrhbi
Morris ss2210
Teer cf4010
Baker 2b4112
Bonewit lf4011
Ely c2000
Cameron cr0000
Merkel 1b4031
McIntire p4000
Norton 3b2010
Nnschwndr pr0100
Patrick dh3000
Totals29484

Jay County (13-11)
abrhbi
Edwards lf3220
Schemenaur c4011
Jetmore cr0000
Myers ss4113
Nichols 2b4101
Goldsworthy 1b3110
Geesaman dh3021
Brown rf4110
Phillips 3b2100
Rowles cf3100
Totals30986

Blackford1000003 — 4
Jay County120204X — 9

LOB — Blackford 9, Jay County 8. 2B — Blackford 1 (Merkel), Jay County 1 (Myers). 3B — Jay County 1 (Edwards). SB — Blackford 1 (Teer), Jay County 2 (Jetmore, Rowles).

IPHRERBBSO
Blackford
McIntire343104
Bonewit211112
Norton124111

Jay County
Vazquez211021
Rowles220015
Myers110001
Edwards100001
Phillips133321


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