Jackson scores in bottom of seventh for 5-4 win over ND

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Every time Jackson's baseball team scored a run Tuesday, visiting Notre Dame seemed to answer.

But Jackson had the last at-bat and took advantage of its home-field advantage to score a run in bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 SEMO Conference win.

"To their credit, we'd take the lead, and they'd come and answer us," Jackson coach Rex Crosnoe said. "We'd take the lead again, and they'd come and answer. That's a credit to them. They have a solid team, as they do year in and year out."

The teams exchanged runs in each of the last four innings.

Geoff Enders, who came on to pitch the seventh in relief of starter Logan Lawson, had the game-winning two-out single to drive in Cameron Heath. Enders hit a high shallow pop fly that held up in the howling wind before diving in between three converging Notre Dame players.

Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett said it came down to a meeting of two evenly matched teams, something which should be common in the SEMO Conference. The Bulldogs dropped to 4-3 in conference play, while Jackson moved to 3-2.

"I think, for the most part, that's our conference," Graviett said. "Kennett and Central have put themselves at the front of the pack, but the rest will battle. It should make the tournament fun."

The Bulldogs (9-4) had tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the seventh on a smart bit of baserunning by Jacob Essner. After Essner reached base and advanced to second on an error, Abe Dirnberger was hit by a pitch. Jackson looked like it would end the game when Jordan Buchheit hit a potential double-play groundball to shortstop Rex Meyr.

Meyr stepped on second for one out, but his throw to first pulled the first basemen off the bag. Essner scored from second on the play, as Jackson's catcher had run up the first-base line to back up the throw.

The mental and fielding mistakes of the seventh were problems throughout the game for the Indians (6-6). Jackson finished with four errors and had several baserunning blunders in the first couple of innings.

"Our biggest thing is playing consistently in all facets of the game," Crosnoe said. "Today, we didn't hit too badly and we pitched well, but our defense and baserunning weren't good. If we put everything together, we can be a good team. We just have to get to that point."

Strong showings by starters

Neither starter factored in the decision, as Lawson pitched well through six innings for the Indians, and Anthony Wulfers kept the Bulldogs in the game through 4 1/3 innings. Both starters were pitching on only two day rests after starting on Saturday.

"He's coming off two days rest, and it's the first time we've done that," Graviett said of Wulfers. "It was a big game, I wanted to see how he'd react. He gave us what we wanted, four or five good innings."

Lawson held Notre Dame hitless through 3 1/3 innings before allowing a home run to Menz. Through six, Lawson allowed five hits, struck out two and walked one. Lawson also added two hits and an RBI at the plate.

Jackson jumped on top with a leadoff home run from Meyr in the bottom of the first. Meyr shot a 2-1 pitch over the levy behind the fence in left field. The Indians had a chance to add to their lead in the third, but could not take advantage of a first-and-second situation with no outs.

"It's good to get on top, and we've done a good job of scoring early," Crosnoe said. "The big thing we have to work on is scoring early and, after that, adding to it."

Jackson 5, Notre Dame 4

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WP -- Geoff Enders, 2-0. LP -- Dylan Drury, 1-1. HR -- Rex Meyr (J), Shane Menz (N). 2B -- Austin Leimer (J), Jacob Essner (N). Multiple hits -- Notre Dame, Menz 2-4; Jackson, Luke Crader 3-4; Logan Lawson 2-3. Records -- Notre Dame 9-4, Jackson 6-6.

JV -- Jackson 3, Notre Dame 2

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