“Oh yeah,” coach Tommy Knight said. “We’ve haven’t had too many losing streaks the last four to five years, so we’ve had to adjust.”
Jefferson (3-5, 2-4) remains in fourth place in Region 8-AA South, tied with Jackson County, as it continues the race to earn one of the top four seeds out of the subregion for the April region playoffs.
Though the Dragons are 2-4 in subregion play, two of those losses have come by one run and the other by two runs.
“Every game is close,” Knight said. “We’ve been in them all. We’ve just got to figure out how to get over the hump.”
Jefferson did that Monday against Jackson County.
After a frustrating 4-3 loss to rival East Jackson Saturday, the visiting Dragons scored five times in the top of the third to erase a 2-1 deficit to beat the Panthers.
Jefferson’s Max Ford grounded out to bring home a score to tie the game at two. Following a Dragon score on an error, Jesse Tallent provided a two-out RBI to put Jefferson ahead 4-2. Then Andrew Bartek (who went 1-for-3) tagged a two-run homer to increase the Dragons’ lead to 6-2.
Jackson County added another score in the fifth inning and threatened late, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two outs before flying out to end the game.
The Dragons managed only four hits. Ford had the only multi-hit day for Jefferson, going 2-for-4. On the mound, Drew Carson earned a complete-game win, allowing just five hits, three runs (two earned) and five walks while striking out nine.
For the Panthers, John Florentine went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the loss, while Trey Sorrells was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Austin Robinson had a multi-hit day, going 2-for-3.
Jackson County committed five errors, including three in the first inning that allowed Jefferson’s first run to score.
The teams will play again March 30 at Jefferson and April 15 at Jackson County as all subregion teams play each other three times this year.
The Dragons entered Monday’s game after its disappointing loss to East Jackson Saturday.
The Eagles broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth and held Jefferson off the scoreboard in the final two frames.
“Not a good one,” Knight said of the game. “They out-played us, so we lost.”
Drew Carson went 3-for-3 in the loss with a double and an RBI. Ford also had a double and an RBI.
Jefferson entered the East Jackson game having lost to subregion co-leader Hart County Friday night.
The Bulldogs didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning when they broke a scoreless tie and then carried a 2-0 lead into the top of the seventh. Then the floodgates opened as Hart County posted five runs turning a close game into what looked like a rout.
“Any time you give up five runs in an inning that’s tough,” Knight said. “We’ve either got to learn how to eliminate those innings or have a big one ourselves.”
Jefferson did manage a big inning, however, and nearly pulled off a furious rally. The Dragons scored five times in the bottom of the seventh and brought the winning run to the plate with two outs before Hart County recorded the final out.
Bartek pitched a gem working four and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit and one run, which was unearned. He struck out nine.
Knight again pointed to the slim margin in these losses.
“We’re close,” Knight said. “We’re right there. We’ve just got to get over the hump.”