The Jefferson High School baseball team saw North Oconee High School twice already this year and in both instances the Dragons won in two totally different ways. The Dragons first win by a score of 2-1 didn’t show a lot of Jefferson’s offensive firepower but, on Feb. 25, Jefferson unleashed a different Dragon and came out as the victor in a 10-2 win at home.
“North Oconee is always a good team. Coach Sapp does a good job with them. Any time you can beat a team of their quality you feel good about it,” said head coach Tommy Knight.
The Titans jumped out to first base off an error by Jefferson but Max Ford delivered a solid pitching effort thereafter while the outfield put forth a collective effort to save a run that would have put North Oconee on the board first.
Micah Carpenter was the lead-off batter for JHS and hit a line drive down the right side of the field complete with an easy trip to first base. Later, Cole Edwards came in as a courtesy runner and Trent Sorrells’s first hit of the day brought Carpenter home for a 1-0 lead.
At the top of the second, Jefferson committed an error of their own but rebounded well by driving one runner back to the dugout. Every time the Titans’ got a boost of momentum, the Dragons showed up right in the nick of time to end their chances of scoring.
At the start of the season, Knight noted Hanon Price as a guy he expected to step up and play big; Price was a contributing factor in keeping the bases loaded and earned a big hit that helped put the game far out of reach for NOHS.
“Hanon is a guy who can be effective offensively several ways; he can use his speed to beat balls out, he has some power and he can hit for average. Monday night he used his speed to beat out a ball and drove the ball up the middle for a hit,” Knight said.
Things turned sour midway through the contest for the Titans who watched Jefferson reel in six more runs before the fourth quarter began. Much of the Dragons’ success was a culmination of lots of agility, power-hitting and more errors by North Oconee.
“Any time you get extra outs you have got to take advantage of them. Most games in high school you’re going to get a few of those and the team that capitalizes on them the most usually comes out on top,” stated Knight.
Knight was able to alleviate Ford of his pitching duties which allowed Ethan Garner and Sorrells to see time at the mound; it was a testament as to how well his team played early and the perfect time of the season for others to step in and acclimated on the mound.
“We have several guys who we feel comfortable with. Now [early in the year] is the time to put them out there and let them get some game-time experience,” said Knight.
Jefferson will take on East Jackson High School tomorrow evening at 5:55 at EJHS.