Jackson converts Seckman miscue into runs

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A four-run fourth led to a 5-1 victory

With one out and runners on the corners in the bottom of the fourth inning, Jackson's Mason Sander hit a ground ball to the shortstop for what seemed to be an easy double play.

Seckman's shortstop botched the ball and the Indians took full advantage.

The error led to four Jackson runs and the Indians went on to knock off visiting Seckman 5-1 on Monday.

"That was very big," Jackson coach Tatum Kitchen said. "We had some timely hitting too. Early on we were out of sync and jumping at the ball. The second time through the lineup we got better. The kids capitalized on the error. We told them to put the ball in play and make them make plays on defense."

It was the Indians' first home game of the season, but it was played at Legion Field in Jackson City Park as the anticipated opening game at the newly constructed Whitey Herzog Stadium was put on hold.

The fourth inning was a disaster for Seckman.

Tyler Qualls drew a one-out walk before Bobby Clark hit a single to center to put runners on the corners. Qualls scored on the misplayed grounder and Clark took second.

But the Indians (2-0) weren't finished.

Tyler Koch delivered a double down the left-field line that scored Clark and moved Sander to third.

After Koch's double, Logan Bartels hit an RBI groundout and Brian Sherrill followed that with an RBI single to left to drive in Koch and make it 5-1.

The Indians' Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters combined for a run and three RBIs in the inning.

"Those guys are grinders," Kitchen said. "They are probably going to put the ball in play. They had productive at-bats and that's what we want. They did a good job today."

The teams were even at 1-1 before the error.

"Errors like that happen," Indians starting pitcher Chad Scroggins said. "We try to score as many runs as we can and take the lead more."

Jackson jumped ahead in the first.

Matt Crader led off with a walk and eventually scored on a Clay Baker groundout to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

Seckman took advantage of one of the few mistakes Scroggins made in the top of the second.

A one-out walk led to a run as Seckman tied the score with a two-out single.

Scroggins hurled seven innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out four.

"I was just trying to throw strikes," Scroggins said. "I wanted to let my defense work and our defense is good, solid."

Kitchen was impressed with his senior.

"He threw well," Kitchen said. "Chad did a tremendous job of coming in and pumping strikes. As a coach we tell them to throw strikes and let our defense work, and he did that today."

After the Indians' offensive explosion, Scroggins finished off Seckman, but not without a little scare in the top of the sixth.

After an infield pop fly was dropped, Seckman followed with two straight hits to load the bases with one out.

But Scroggins induced an inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

"I was trying to throw a fastball low and get the double play," Scroggins said. "And it ended up that way."

Kitchen was more than pleased.

"That was easily the biggest moment of the game," Kitchen said. "We were 5-1 with one out and the infield fly out was dropped, then base hit, base hit and you start to think the wheels are falling off. But I got to give it to the kids, they battled. It was an awkward turn at second, but we got them."


WP -- Chad Scroggins, 1-0. LP -- Rieger. 2B -- Matt Crader (J), Tyler Koch (J), Clay Baker (J).

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