Jefferson City handles Quincy 8-0

It was clear from the onset of Jefferson City’s game Wednesday against Quincy, Ill., it lacked the pizzazz Tuesday’s game against Rock Bridge provided.

It wasn’t a battle of state-ranked teams and there were no district implications. But that didn’t mean the game was going to be a letdown for Jefferson City.

The Jays pounced on the Blue Devils for six runs in the first inning. That was more than enough for senior Cameron Carroll, who tossed a complete-game shutout as the Jays rolled to an 8-0 victory at Vivion Field on Senior Night.

“Today, I don’t think they felt the pressure because the magnitude of the game,” Jefferson City head coach Brian Ash said.

After dropping Tuesday’s game 9-3 to Rock Bridge, the fourth-ranked Jays wasted no time taking out their frustrations on Quincy.

Jefferson City sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning. The first five reached and all nine in the lineup either reached base or had an RBI in the inning. Hayden Strobel and Steven Coots had RBI singles. Trevor Rucker had an RBI double and Rylie Klosterman added a two-run double.

Quincy (8-12) starter Reagan Kurfman walked three in the inning.

Ash was happy to see his team be more aggressive at the plate than they were Tuesday.

“The game meant so much yesterday,” Ash said. “We can’t have the middle of our lineup taking pitches when it’s 2-0, they’ve got to be able to make contact when it counts and they’ve got to be able to put the ball in play when it counts. That’s kind of our focus from here on out. In critical situations, you have to be mentally strong enough to come through.”

The six-run first was more than enough for Carroll, who scattered six hits and struck out eight.

Only one Quincy runner reached third base in the game as the outcome never seemed in doubt.

“I was just really trying to work on my spots,” Carroll said.

Ash was more than pleased with the performance from his starting pitcher.

“I told Cameron I thought that was one of the best games I’ve seen him pitch in his career,” Ash said. “When he gets his breaking pitch over ... he can put the ball by you with his fastball. When he gets control of those pitches, he’s a tough kid to hit off.”

Jefferson City added single tallies in the second and third, but had just four hits after the first inning. Strobel and Rucker finished with two hits each for the Jays.

“Today it was obviously good to come back and have a good game, good pitching, good defense, timely hitting and you hit early,” Ash said. “... At no point in the game did I ever feel we were in trouble. We felt like ‘Ok, we scored six runs, Cameron is pitching great.’ I thought the game was pretty much in hand.”

The Jays (19-4) play again Friday at Kirksville.

III

The Jays honored seniors Sam Atkinson, Corey Beard, Dylan Brauner, Carroll, Coots and Rucker prior to the game.

Ash took the job in Jefferson City when the five were freshmen, so it’s the first class he’s had for all four years.

“I got to talk to them a little bit before we did everything,” Ash said. “I’m not a real emotional guy, but I had a hard time. To be honest with you there were some touchy moments there.

“When I came in, they were the first group. They were the little runts. To see them grow up as young men and baseball players, to get us to where we are now, we’ve had our ups and downs. I’m very very proud of that senior group.”

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