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Jackson shows improvement by taking two from Scott County
Logan Lawson drove in three runs and went a perfect 4-for-4, and Geoff Enders battled through a rough patch in the sixth inning as the Jackson American Legion team slipped by Scott County 7-6 on Wednesday in the opener of a doubleheader at Chaffee.
In the nightcap, Jackson routed Scott County 13-4 for its fifth straight win.
Jackson, which was routed by Scott County in the nine-inning district contest earlier this season, built a 7-2 lead after Lawson drove home his third run of the game in the top of the sixth.
Scott County made a game of it with four hits and four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Enders retired two of the first three batters in the inning, but allowed five straight batters to reach base to close the gap to 7-6. Jon Simpher provided an RBI single, and Shane Menz had a two-run single with the bases loaded.
"I felt he made good pitches in the sixth," Jackson coach Mark Lewis said. "I thought they hit the ball off good pitches."
With the tying run in scoring position, Enders got hot-hitting Trenton Moses to hit a ground ball to the shortstop, who stepped on second for a force-out to end the inning. Enders came back out for the seventh inning and retired Scott County in order for the win.
Enders allowed 10 hits, struck out five and walked two.
Right fielder Austin Leimer made a sliding catch on a slicing line drive off the bat of Aaron Jenkins for the second out in the seventh inning.
"An outstanding catch by Austin Leimer," Lewis said. "He's played well for us. He got a good jump, and if that ball's down it may be a double or a triple."
Jackson had its way with Scott County starter Alex Orr, pounding out seven hits in Orr's 3 2/3 innings. Orr was hurt by a pair of errors in right field, and did not help himself by walking five.
Rusty Hendricks allowed one run on three hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Hendricks walked one and struck out one.
"Rusty came and did a good job," Scott County coach Tom Dirnberger said. "Alex threw the ball well, he just had a hard time finding the plate. But if we could have fielded better this would have been a lot more entertaining game."
Leimer led off the game by reaching second on a dropped fly ball in right. Lawson drove Leimer home, and Enders helped himself with an RBI single in the inning.
Jackson scored two more runs in the third. Taylor Busch led off the inning with a single, and Lawson followed with a double. Busch scored on a wild pitch, and Zach Ayers drove in Lawson with a sacrifice fly.
Lawson added RBI singles in a two-run fourth for Jackson and another in the sixth. Enders drove in the other run with a bases-loaded walk. Enders and Busch added two hits apiece to go along with Lawson's four-hit game.
"He's been hitting the ball well," Lewis said of Lawson. "As a team I felt we've been swinging the bats well and running the bases well. We've been doing a better job on offense and we needed that."
Moses, Jacob Essner and Menz each had two hits apiece for Scott County. Menz had three RBIs, including an RBI single in a two-run third. Moses added an RBI in the third.
Scott County got little production out of the No. 2 hole, a spot recently vacated in the lineup when Kelly High School standout Caleb Daughhetee left the team to join the Air Force Academy.
"We just came out a little sluggish," Dirnberger said. "Losing Caleb in the second spot makes a difference, but we'll make it through."
Jackson was coming off a doubleheader split at Metropolis (Ill.) which did not get over until about midnight Tuesday night. Jackson picked up a split in the doubleheader and has begun to pick up its play of late.
"You're going to have good and bad," Lewis said. "I've been happy with the positive strides we've made."
Bret Groening pitched all seven innings in the second game Wednesday. Groening alowed two earned runs, five hits, four walks and struck out two.
Levi Petzoldt and Ayers had three hits apiece, and Leimer and Lawson had two hits apiece.