Third time's a charm - Jackson perfect vs. Cape

Thursday, June 17, 2004

If it had been a hockey game, Jason Meystedt would have been voted hands down the No. 1 star.

Meystedt sparkled on the mound and at the plate Wednesday night as he led the Jackson RE/MAX Achievers American Legion baseball team past host Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons 10-7 at Capaha Field.

Jackson, beating Cape for the third time in three meetings this season, improved to 8-2 overall and evened its District 14 record at 1-1. Ford & Sons fell to 5-10 as it lost its district opener (the earlier doubleheader against Jackson consisted of non-district games).

"It was a good team win for us," Jackson coach Mark Lewis said. "We've played well early, but we still have a lot of work to do. But I can't fault the kind of effort we've given so far."

Meystedt, a left-hander who as a junior was the top starting pitcher for Jackson High School's team this spring, overcame a shaky beginning to work seven strong innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs while striking out 14 and walking five.

"I rested all day long and I was ready to play. My arm felt great," Meystedt said. "I gave it all I had."

Meystedt gave up two first-inning runs and allowed five hits over the opening two frames. He then did not allow another hit until the seventh before finally leaving with nobody out in the eighth after Jason Schenimann's two-run home run pulled Cape within 9-5.

"I got tired at the end, but I'm never ready to come out of a game," said a smiling Meystedt when asked if he was ready to leave the mound.

Said Lewis, "I hated to pull Jason. He pitched a great game. But he threw a lot of pitches."

Meystedt also doubled twice, drove in two runs and went 3-for-4 to lead Jackson's 10-hit attack. Jake Carter had two hits, including a triple, and drove home three runs. Zach Brazer added two hits.

Brandon Stearns replaced Meystedt on the mound in the eighth. Stearns gave up two more runs on three hits in that frame as Cape made things interesting, but he worked a perfect ninth to close out the victory.

"I thought Brandon did a good job," Lewis said. "We needed everybody tonight."

Cape also had 10 hits, including Schenimann's homer that cleared the left-field fence. Lee Essner led the way with two hits while Sean Bard added two RBIs.

Wayne Essner took the loss. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed nine runs (seven earned) and six hits while striking out three and walking six. Michael Taylor finished up, allowing four hits and one run in 3 1/3 innings. He fanned three and walked two.

"It's hard to pinpoint one situation, but once again we dug ourselves a hole," Cape coach Michael Minner said. "We're a little suspect defensively right now, but we'll keep battling."

Ford & Sons made four errors, all coming in the first three innings. Jackson also had four errors but just one was in the first five innings as the visitors built a solid lead.

Cape jumped on top with two first-inning runs, but then it was all Jackson for quite a while. The RE/MAX Achievers went ahead for good with a three-run second, then added two in the third and four in the sixth for a 9-2 bulge.

Ford & Sons made it a game by scoring one in the seventh and four in the eighth, but Jackson got one back in the ninth and finished strong.

"I know Cape is struggling some right now, but they're a good club and they'll be there at the end," Lewis said.

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