WITH A two-game winning streak in hand, the Jefferson baseball team now (8-6, 4-3) searches for an elusive road victory.
The Jefferson baseball team faces Oglethorpe County Wednesday in Lexington at 5 p.m. in the second matchup of a two-game series.
The Dragons — who beat Oglethorpe County 5-2 Monday — are 4-0 in home subregion games but 0-3 on the road in 8-AA South action.
“You can’t keep splitting (these series),” Jefferson coach Tommy Knight said. “Splitting doesn’t get the job done all the way through.”
That’s especially true since Jefferson is in fourth in the 8-AA South standings and only the top four teams out of each side of the region qualify for the 8-AA playoffs.
The Dragons have five more subregion games remaining. They complete their series with Oglethorpe County with Wednesday's road trip and then have two-game stints with Elbert County and East Jackson remaining.
Knight said his team has to win its games with Oglethorpe County and East Jackson — teams that are both behind the Dragons in the 8-AA South standings — and at least split with second-place Elbert County to give itself the best shot of getting that no. 4 seed.
“If we can do that, we’ll see what happens,” he said.
The Dragons continued their home dominance Monday with their win over Oglethorpe County.
Jefferson couldn’t have asked for a more efficient outing from starting pitcher Max Ford.
Ford made quick work of the visiting Patriots, throwing a complete game, surrendering five hits, two runs (only one was earned) and one walk while striking out eight. Oglethorpe County managed its two runs in the fourth inning, when Jefferson committed two errors.
Ford’s performance left Knight impressed.
“An 82-pitch complete game — I can’t argue with that,” Knight said. “He threw the ball well. He was around the plate … If we play defense in the fourth inning, he might have gotten a shutout.”
Ford, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate, set down the last 11 batters he faced.
“I think he got stronger as the game went on,” Knight said.
Jefferson jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead when Micah Carpenter scored on a wild pitch and Andy Nicolas doubled home a run. Oglethorpe County pulled even in the top of the fourth — aided by the Jefferson errors — but Ryan Johnson scored from second in the bottom half of the inning for the Dragons after a misplayed ball at shortstop.
Andrew Bartek, who went 2-for-3, added an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. A sacrifice fly from Johnson in the bottom of the sixth brought home the final Jefferson run.
Despite 11 hits from his squad, Knight said his team didn’t have the best approach at the plate and popped up too many balls.
“Too many fly ball outs,” Knight said. “Way too many fly ball outs. That’s easy for a defense.”