Jackson American Legion Freshman take 3rd in State

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Front row: Haden Clark Second row (left to right): Conrad Bonney, Zach Elfrink, Blake Trickey, Josh Barber, Michael Houchin Third row: Jonathan Litchfield, Ben Maudie, Ethan Isaksen, Ryan Harvey, Jon Schumer Fourth row: Tyler Howard, Garret Reynolds, Tyler Slinkard, Seth Knott, Wyatt Eldridge Back row: Coach Jonathan Simpher, Head Coach Josh Adams

The Jackson American Legion Post 158 Freshman team won 3rd in the double-elimination State Championships held on July 18-22 in Branson, MO.

They beat the host team of Branson 15-0 in their first game of the tournament with two Jackson players hitting home runs. Haden Clark hit his 7th home run of the season & also earned 7 RBIs in the game. Josh Barber hit his 1st home run ever two batters behind Clark & went 3-3 with a walk.

The second game found them in familiar territory as they played Ste. Gen., having already defeated them twice during the regular season. It was a pitching duel until Clark hit his 8th home run of the season in the 4th. However, that was all Jackson would score as they had a period of errors that left them losing this one 1-7.

Not to be discouraged for long, Jackson came back & fought hard the next day to win their next two games. They defeated Manchester 12-2, with Ryan Harvey batting 3-4 with two singles & a double, along with Ethan Isaksen who went 3-3, all singles. The next game, Zach Elfrink had some fantastic pitching, beating Kickapoo 4-2. Barber was the hitting leader again with 3 singles.

Jackson made their way back up the bracket into the semi-final game, where they faced Ste. Gen for the fourth time this year. Once more, mistakes hit Jackson at crucial moments, seeing them down 0-5 going into the bottom of the 4th. Hope flared as they strung together a series of hits, as well as took advantage of Ste Gen errors, pulling them within one by the end of the inning. Jackson remained scoreless for the remainder of the game while Ste Gen increased their lead in the 7th. Jackson lost this one 4-8, seeing their fabulous season come to a close.

The Freshmen ended their season with a record of 30-7, the most wins of any Jackson American Legion Freshman team. They also had four players end with batting averages over .400: Ryan Harvey at .489, Josh Barber at .453, Haden Clark at .429, & Seth Knott at .413. Congratulations to the Freshmen & to Coaches Josh Adams and Jonathan Simpher on an outstanding season!

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