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Jefferson City baseball posts win against Macon

by Trevor Hahn | April 22, 2023 at 12:28 a.m.
Jefferson City's Ryan Tadsen takes a pitch during Friday's game against Macon at Jefferson City High School. (Trevor Hahn/News Tribune)

After canceling the first three games of the season, the Jefferson City Jays knew they could use the opportunity to schedule games against good teams later in the season.

And on short notice, the Jays welcomed the Macon Tigers to Jefferson City and picked up a 9-5 victory Friday night at Jefferson City High School.

“We needed to keep seeing live arms and just the live reps,” Jefferson City coach Kyle Lasley said. “It was really huge. I really appreciate them coming down, our athletic department working and trying to figure out a way for the umpires to get here and everything else. It worked out really nice.”

Jefferson City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Ethan Lipp led off with a single, Jordan Martin doubled to left field to put two runners in scoring position with one out and Zac Arnold plated Lipp with a groundball up the middle.

“We always want to try and score first and put the pressure on them,” Lasley said.

But the Tigers answered quickly, as back-to-back doubles by Gage Lewis and Drew Meisner led off the top of the second and put runners on second and third.

Arnold looked like he was going to escape with no damage after a strikeout and infield pop out, but designated hitter Jace Terry drove both runners home with a two-out, two-RBI single to right field to take a 2-1 lead.

“They did a good job of responding,” Lasley said. “It’s good to have some of those games where you have to grind it out from a pitching standpoint, defense, offense, everything.”

The Jays jumped right back into the lead with a four-run bottom of the second.

Jefferson City loaded the bases with two outs after Brody Johns led off with a single, Ethan Garnett reached base via an error and Lipp drew his second of three walks in the contest. Dylan Wallace plated the first run by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

This set the stage for Jordan Martin, who cleared the bases with a triple that one-hopped the left-center field fence to push the Jays’ lead to 5-2.

“Right man, right spot,” Lasley said. “He’s been in quite a few of those positions this year where he’s had a chance to do some damage and a couple times he’s come up a little short. … It was good for him to get out a little funk like that.”

Each side squandered a chance in the following innings, as Macon stranded the bases loaded in the third and Jefferson City did the same in the fourth.

But the Tigers got to Wallace on the mound in his second inning of work out of the bullpen in the fifth.

Two walks and a single led off the inning and loaded the bases with no outs, Meisner drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Logan Hillard tied the game as the next batter with a double to deep left-center.

“He battled but he left a lot of pitches up in the zone,” Lasley said. “… They are a good hitting team, they squared some balls up.”

Once again, the Jays had an answer.

A one-out error and a line drive to deep right field by Ryan Tadsen put two runners in scoring position and Lasley made the move to Ethan Wall to pinch hit with two outs.

Wall grounded a ball to third base but the first baseman was unable to dig the throw out of the turf. Drew Heller, who was pinch-running for Arnold, easily scored on the play and Tadsen never stopped running from second and narrowly beat the throw to the plate from first base to make it a two-run game.

“Those are hustle plays, those are game-changers, they are momentum-builders,” Lasley said. “It gets the energy right back in the dugout. I like guys making plays like that, we need to see more of that and hopefully we can continue that moving forward.”

Jefferson City added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, as Martin drove in Lipp with a shallow sacrifice fly and Johns plated Wallace with a single to center on an 0-2 pitch.

Four runs was plenty for Luke Bauridl, who pitched the final two innings, in relief.

After working a clean sixth inning, Bauridl worked around a one-out double in the seventh to pick up the six-out save.

“He did a great job, he did the same thing against Rolla on Wednesday,” Lasley said. “… He’s a guy that kind of has that in his blood.”

Martin led the way for Jefferson City (12-5), which entered the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 5 rankings this week at No. 9, by going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Arnold and Johns each added two hits.

Macon (13-3) made five errors in the contest.

The Jays will now shift their focus to five games next week. They will start with a Central Missouri Activities Conference game Monday at Hickman before playing Tuesday at Lebanon.

Jefferson City will play Shawnee Mission South and Washburn Rural on Thursday at the River City Festival in Lawrence, Kan., then will take on Helias at 7 p.m. next Friday at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.


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