Jackson continues strong play, records 5-1 victory over Kelly

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

JACKSON, Mo. -- It was a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions and the reasons were simple.

Jackson (8-4, 5-2) ran its winning streak to five games with a 5-1 SEMO Conference win over Kelly at American Legion Field Monday.

"Overall, we're putting the ball in play and doing a good job at the plate; our pitching's been good, we're battling people and throwing strikes; and our defense is making plays," Jackson coach Sam Sides said. "And when you do that, you're going to win most of the time."

Kelly, on the other hand, fell to 4-7, 0-6 in the conference.

"In baseball, you've got to put it together on the mound, in the field and at the plate," Kelly coach John Gandt said, "and it seems like half of the time we come out, we're missing one of those."

The Indians scored one in the first inning when leadoff hitter Michael Birk walked, stole second and came home on an RBI double by Dusty Roberts.

"We're meshing together real well," said Roberts. "It's starting to jell and we're playing some good ball."

Jackson displayed the style of baseball, sound execution and timely hitting, it has been playing during the win streak in the second inning.

With Josh Parham, who had singled, on second base and starting pitcher Austin McDowell on first after being hit by a pitch, the Indians executed a perfect hit-and-run as Birk blooped a single over second base to score Parham.

McDowell later scored on Bryan Austin's sacrifice fly and Roberts' double to deep center field sent Birk home with the third run of the inning.

Roberts went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

"I'm seeing the ball well and hitting it real solid right now," Roberts said. "I'm just trying to stay back and go to the opposite field with it."

Parham led the Indians with a 3-for-3 performance, including two doubles and one RBI.

Jackson's McDowell (4-2) posted another solid complete-game pitching performance as he allowed four hits, struck out four and walked none.

"I'm hitting my spots, mixing it up and changing speeds," said McDowell.

Garrett Stricker (1-2) took the loss for Kelly, while Derek Wheetley accounted for Kelly's only run with an RBI single in the seventh inning.

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