SITTING in fifth place in the subregion with seven games left, the Jefferson baseball team hopes for a late-season surge to get postseason eligible.
Right now, they’re on the outside looking in. Only the top four teams in the subregion will qualify for the Region 8-AA tournament in April.
Jefferson, which is coming off a 7-0 loss Tuesday to Hart County, is slated to face rival Jackson County today in an important subregion contest if forecasted rain showers hold off. The Dragons then have an off day Friday, which suits coach Tommy Knight just fine.
Knight said this year has been “kind of like a sprint” for his young team. With games every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the JV playing games on the Dragons’ field some times on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jefferson hasn’t really had time to practice.
The team plans to do that Friday.
“So we’ll welcome an off day,” Knight said.
In the team’s latest loss, Jefferson got a lead-off bunt single from Kevin Ross but nothing else against Hart County starter Landon Beck.
“And he just got better as the game went on,” Knight said.
This was the first time Jefferson has been shut out this year. The Dragons squandered a scoring opportunity in the first inning and were held off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
“We’ve just got to swing it a little bit better,” Knight said.
Hart County scored one run in the second, fourth and fifth innings and then broke the game open with four scores in the sixth.
Jefferson had been on a three-game winning steak prior to that, beating East Jackson most recently.
Powered by a six-run first inning, Jefferson topped the Eagles 7-3 Friday at home to atone for a 4-3 loss to their rivals earlier this year.
“I thought we definitely played better,” Knight said. “We were more ready to play this time than we were the first time.”
Drew Carson threw six and one-third innings to earn another win. Carson allowed four hits and three runs (none were earned) while striking out eight. Carson also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
“He’s been solid all year,” Knight said. “He threw the ball really well. He’s a kid that’s going to keep us in every ball game he pitches … He’s done a fantastic job.”
Jesse Tallent went 2-for-3, driving in three runs. Jason Demos also had a big offensive night, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Jefferson jumped out to a 6-1 lead after the first inning and led 7-1 after the second. While Knight was pleased with the win, he hoped his team would have gone ahead and put the Eagles away. Instead East Jackson scored twice in the third to stay within striking distance.
Knight said his team has had a tendency this year to live dangerously and allow teams to hang around.
“When you get up like that, you’ve got to put them away,” Knight said.
Jefferson was coming off a 3-2 road win over Oglethorpe County Thursday.
Max Ford pitched four and two-thirds innings to earn the win, striking out seven. He allowed just two hits and one unearned run.