WARDSVILLE — For the second time this week, the Jefferson City Jays had a game come down to the final play.
This time, it went their way.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Blair Oaks' Devin Koelling hit a groundball in the hole to the left side of the infield. Jefferson City shortstop Taylor Hopkins dived to his right to stop the ball, then threw it to third baseman Dawson Schuemann for a game-ending forceout on a bang-bang play.
"That was a nice play," Jays coach Kyle Lasley said of the final out of Jefferson City's 3-2 win in Game 1 of Thursday's doubleheader at the Falcon Athletic Complex. "Our middle infielders have been playing really well, as well as Dawson over at third base. Those guys have been playing together the last couple of years, so they just know what to expect when the ball is hit to them."
The Jays also won the second game 6-1, getting their first doubleheader sweep of the summer league.
The teams faced each other in the Jamboree back in March, but unless they cross paths in the Capital City Invitational, the summer league is their only other opportunity to match up.
"It's fun to play those guys," Blair Oaks coach Mike DeMilia said. "We're excited to play them, and hopefully we'll get an opportunity to play them next year in the spring."
In Game 1, all the scoring took place in the first two innings.
Blair Oaks answered Jefferson City's run in the top of the first by scoring a pair in the bottom half of the inning. Lane Libbert singled home Ian Nolph, then crossed the plate on a passed ball to put the Falcons ahead 2-1.
The Jays struck back with two runs in the top of the second inning to retake the lead at 3-2. Tanner Schmitz put down a sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third base, then Hopkins, the leadoff batter, drove home Wyatt Fischer and Cade Beckly with a single to left-center field.
"Small ball is good, you can win a lot of games with that," Lasley said. "We did a really good job of getting guys on and getting them over."
But Jefferson City also left 10 runners on base in Game 1, including seven in scoring position.
"My talk with the guys after the game was we did the first two things: we got on and we got them over," Lasley said. "But we didn't get them in. We have to finish that last part."
Blair Oaks hit into inning-ending double plays in the fourth and fifth, but in the sixth, Levi Haney and Cade Stockman hit back-to-back singles to get a rally going for the Falcons. They then pulled off a double steal, leading the Jays to intentionally walk the next batter to load the bases.
"Our guys have the green light almost all the time," DeMilia said of the stolen bases. "Our guys have the opportunity to run. If they get the jump, they go."
Jeremy Parks was the winning pitcher for the Jays. He threw all six innings and gave up two runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
"He ran deep into some counts early in the game, but then he started finding command of his curveball and offspeed pitches," Lasley said. "Jeremy just competed and threw strikes."
Jacob Rademan struck out five in 3 innings for the Falcons, while Cole Jungmeyer added a strikeout in 2 innings of relief. The pair worked around six walks and four hit batsmen.
"We gave them a lot of free batters with walks and hit batsmen," DeMilia said. "But when they needed to make pitches, they did."
Haney and Nolph each had a pair of singles for Blair Oaks. Nolph also went 2-for-3 in Game 2 with a single, a triple and the Falcons' only run scored.
"He's not a kid where everything comes easy to him, he puts in a lot of work," DeMilia said of Nolph. "I've seen it ever since he walked into our program as a freshman."
Jefferson City resumes play Tuesday with a doubleheader against Capital City at Vivion Field. Blair Oaks will play Tuesday at Southern Boone.