CHILLICOTHE — Between Unioto and Jackson, both teams combined for 34 runs and 32 hits on Tuesday.
However, Jackson started with a lead and never trailed as it outpaced the Shermans for a 19-15 victory at VA Memorial Stadium.
“Hitting wise, we did really good. Can’t be mad or upset when you have almost 20 hits in a game,” Jackson coach Josh McGraw said. “We connected with the ball really well at the plate and defensively we didn’t make many mistakes, but Unioto found the gaps. Our goal was to get to league play undefeated and that’s what we accomplished.”
Before Landon Camp even took the mound for the Ironmen, his team gave him plenty of run support.
After back-to-back singles to open the game from Holden Blankenship and Isaac Kuhn, Ty Broermann ripped an RBI single to go up 1-0. Then Drew Bragg found the gap in right center field for a two-run triple, extending the lead to 3-0.
“I had two strikes on me so I was just telling myself to keep fighting and don’t strikeout,” Bragg said. “I saw the pitch and tried to take it backside to do my job and get the run in. I found the gap and the ball continued to roll and it turned into a triple.”
The runs didn’t stop there as Caeleb McGraw notched a sacrifice fly the next at-bat, pushing the lead up to 4-0.
Two batters later, Camp added to the lead with an RBI infield single. Then Unioto committed a fielding error that scored two more runs for a 7-0 lead.
However, Unioto responded with a sizeable punch in the bottom half of the inning. After scoring on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, Landyn Patterson unloaded the bases with a three-run double to left center field.
Then Dewey Dailey hit a sacrifice fly, and just like that, it was a 7-5 game after the first inning.
“We knew that neither of us were going to pitch any of our top guys since we have league games coming up,” McGraw said. “This was Landon’s first time pitching this season and aside from the first inning, he did a solid job and threw strikes.”
Unioto’s Cameron DeBord stepped up in the bottom of the second and crushed a solo home run over the right field fence, trimming the lead down to 7-6.
Yet, that’s the closest Unioto got for the rest of the night. Broermann legged out an infield RBI single before Jackson scored off a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch, pushing the lead to 10-6.
Then, it scored on another wild pitch followed by a RBI double from Camp, extending the lead to 12-6.
Unioto got two runs back off a RBI single from Ben Spetnagel and a sacrifice fly from DeBord, however, it couldn’t prevent Jackson from scoring.
McGraw, Bryson and Haydn Brown all collected RBI singles to create more distance in the top of the fifth, leading 15-8.
“We take batting practice really serious and use game-type scenarios to try and hit where we want in the cages,” Broermann said. “It has a huge effect on us keeping that mentality from the cages to the game. Guys are hitting the ball, getting on base and we keep knocking them in.”
Bragg later added a two-run single, followed by an RBI single from Bryson Brown and scored again on a fielder’s choice for a 19-8 game.
Although Unioto scored seven runs in the sixth inning, it wasn’t enough as it went down in order in the seventh to secure the victory for Jackson.
“We knew that we were saving our top four pitchers coming into the game, so we needed our bats to be alive for this one,” Broermann said. “Knocking out 18 hits certainly helped. More than anything, we’re just happy to be playing again.”
Landon Camp earned the win in two innings, allowing just three hits and five earned runs. He also had a triple and an RBI.
Bragg finished 2-for-5 with a triple, four runs scored and four RBIs, followed by Caeleb McGraw going 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Broermann went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBIs, while Brown was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Isaac Kuhn was 4-for-6 with three runs scored.
Haydn Brown, Cade Wolford and Logan Camp added an RBI as well.