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Jackson routs Perryville
JACKSON — Michael Mouser said he knew he needed to have a strong plate appearance leading off the bottom of the fourth Friday with his Jackson Post 158 American Legion baseball team trailing 3-2 against Perryville Post 133.
Mouser thought if he had a good at-bat, he could get the rest of the offense rolling.
Mouser smashed a home run over the fence in right to tie the game. His blast, which was his first ever at his home field, was the beginning of a big rally.
The next 14 Jackson batters reached base safely. Post 158 sent 25 batters to the plate in the fourth, collecting 20 runs on 15 hits and cruising to a 22-4 five-inning home rout over Perryville.
"I guess that just got our team going," Mouser said. "And the result was a pretty good win. It's hard to keep focus when you're hitting the ball like that and your whole team is rallying, playing good and starting to have some fun. ... That was amazing. That was a first for our team."
Jake Hime, who went 3-for-3 in the inning, said no one wanted to make the first out.
"Once the first couple batters start rattling off the hits, it gets pretty easy because everyone always says hitting is contagious," Hime said. "So we just kind of proved it right there spraying balls all over the field and we got a couple big ones. You just go up there with an idea in mind and hit it hard."
The first player to make an out for Jackson was catcher Melvin Johnson with Jackson already having scored 14 runs by the time he flew out to deep left.
"I kind of felt like a fool," Johnson said. "I didn't hit it good. I felt it when I hit it. We just don't give up. We try to hit everything and try to score runs for our pitcher."
Jackson starting pitcher Drew Coleman said the team ragged on Johnson for making the first out.
"We just said, 'What are you doing? What are you doing?'" Coleman said. "It was a deep fly ball though, and almost got out. We're really an aggressive hitting team."
The 15 hits in the inning consisted of 10 singles, two doubles, one triple and two home runs. In addition to Mouser, Garrett Seabaugh also went deep, stroking a three-run shot in his second plate appearance that frame.
Perryville used three pitchers in the inning. Starter Greg Finger left after allowing the first seven batters to reach. He was followed by Luke Ponder, who came in and failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced. Travis Wibbenmeyer finished the inning.
The last two outs were recorded on a double play.
"You got to find outs, you've got to catch balls that you think you have a chance at and we didn't do that," Perryville coach Dustin Wengert said. "Hitting is contagious, and once you get on a roll in any game, it's hard to stop. ... Our starter, it was the first time he's started a game all year. He's come in in relief a couple times. We tried to stretch him out and tried to get him through four innings, and obviously that didn't work."
Wengert said neither Ponder nor Wibbenmeyer pitch much. Since it wasn't a district game, Wengert said he didn't want to throw anyone who could help his team win a district contest.
Wengert also was displeased with a play toward the end of the fourth-inning rally when his defense threw wildly into left field trying to get a baserunner who was headed to third. The baserunner was waved home to make the score 21-3.
"You're scoring runs at will, and on a passed ball you send a guy home," Wengert said. "The first one didn't bother me, but you wave a guy in from second? It's bush league. And I don't care if anybody knows about it or whatnot. It's bush league. We're struggling and everyone sees that. ... We're trying to find an out, and you just keep running it up on us. I guess I look back at it as sportsmanship. And it's very simple just to tell your kids to stay at the base."
Jackson coach Mark Lewis said he does not think he did anything wrong by waving the runner home.
"The ball is in left field," he said. "You've still got to work your game and try and get better. As far as the game-wise, it was just a crazy game. It was 3-2 going into that inning. Obviously, when you score that many runs, you feel like the lead might be safe and everything, but you've still got to work on basics."
WP — Drew Coleman. LP — Greg Finger. HR — Michael Mouser (J), Garrett Seabaugh (J), Darin Yamnitz (P). 2B — Jake Hime (J), Seabaugh (J), Kyle Reynolds (J). Multiple hits — Jackson: Chad Scroggins 2-4, Hime 4-5, Mouser 2-3, Ethan Devenport 2-3, Reyonolds 2-3, Seabaugh 2-4; Perryville: Kyle Rollet 2-3. Records — Jackson 6-6, Perryville 4-6.