Josh Isaacs put the ball in play. Tanner Schmitz kept it from leaving the infield.
The Jefferson City senior dove to his left to stop a ground ball from rolling into right field, got up, turned and fired to first baseman Jacob Roettgen to beat Isaacs by a half-step to secure a 3-2 win Wednesday against the Blair Oaks Falcons at Vivion Field.
"For seven innings it was just a great game," Jefferson City coach Kyle Lasley said. "Both sides, well played defensively, pitching. And to stay locked into that last pitch, that takes a lot. Tanner's a guy that hasn't seen any action over there yet in the last two games, and for him to come through is huge."
The Falcons entered the seventh inning down 3-1 and were down to their final out with just one runner on. But Reid Dudenhoeffer reached on a wide throw to first from the shortstop.
Levi Haney followed by bouncing a hard grounder to left field for an RBI single, setting Blair Oaks up with the potential trying run at second base.
The Jays drew four straight walks with two outs in the first inning to lead 1-0. Courtesy runner Hayden Wells scored when Jacob Duke walked.
"Our goal we set a couple weeks ago is we want to score first," Lasley said. "We want to put the pressure on the other team. The last three games we've been the team that scores first."
Jefferson City won its first two games of the season comfortably: 9-5 at Kirkville and 18-2 at Union.
Blair Oaks pressured Jefferson City with baserunners in all but the third inning, when the Jays' hard-throwing lefty struck out the side.
"Roettgen's tough," Blair Oaks coach Mike DeMilia said. "His splitter's really good. And for the most part he commands."
Dudenhoeffer and Haney hit back-to-back singles in the second inning before Roettgen struck out the next three batters. He finished with 12 strikeouts and two walks in five innings.
"Switching up speeds, locations, hitting spots, Roettgen did all those things," Lasley said.
Blair Oaks managed five hits against the Jays' starter, but didn't need one to score its run.
Ian Nolph got on in the fifth with a one-out hit by pitch, advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw and scored when Hayden Salmons reached on a throwing error to get the Falcons within a run at 2-1.
"I felt like we had some good at-bats, but it's just really hard to square balls up against a guy like that," DeMilia said.
Taylor Hopkins scored in the bottom half by reaching on an error, stealing second base, reaching third on a groundout and scoring on a passed ball.
"We didn't take care of the ball a couple times," DeMilia said. "That was really a difference in the game. Little things they did better than us today and that's why they won the game."
Blair Oaks starter Cale Willson took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, striking out the second batter of the inning looking.
"He talked me into another batter or two," DeMilia said. "I believe he could have gone more, but it's too early (in the season). He competed really hard. He had a rough outing on Saturday and got off to a weird start tonight too, but he kept competing. He's got great stuff."
Isaacs finished the remaining 1 innings, striking out one and walking one.
Schmitz broke up the no-hitter in the sixth, laying down a bunt on the left side of the infield and beating out the throw to first by a step.
"Three games in three days, that's tough," Lasley said of the Jays being limited to one hit after combining for 28 in the first two games. "Just lock it back in before this weekend."
Willson struck out seven, walked six and allowed an unearned run.
Jeremy Parks closed it out on the mound for the Jays, striking out one, walking one and allowing an unearned run and three hits.
Blair Oaks (2-2) will head to Linn on Saturday to face the Wildcats at noon and the Vienna Eagles at 2 p.m.
Jefferson City (3-0) will play Friday and Saturday in the St. Francis Borgia/Union Tournament.
"It's gonna be a long weekend, but hopefully we can get through," Lasley said. "I tell the guys to just compete, have fun, play together and good things will happen."
In Wednesday's JV game, Jefferson City won 13-6 in three innings. Case Hager and Cade Beckley each drove in three runs for the Jays.
Tyler Doman tallied three hits and an RBI for Blair Oaks.
Jefferson City's C team split a doubleheader Wednesday against Southern Boone in Ashland, winning Game 1 11-0 and falling 9-2 in Game 2.
Zac Arnold struck out five in five innings, adding two doubles and two RBI at the plate.
Ethan Garnett had a single, a triple and three RBI.