Thompson tosses three-hitter as Jeffcats blank Perry
Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 AM
By Jim Metcalfe
Jefferson senior Ross Thompson works to the hitter during a complete-game, three-hitter versus Perry on Wednesday evening. Thompson also chipped in with three hits at the plate. (Times Bulletin/Randy Shellenbarger)
DELPHOS — Jefferson baseball coach Doug Geary has been looking for a steadier offense in 2014 to support a solid pitching staff and defense.
The last two games seem to show a team turning the corner.
The Wildcats bested Lincolnview 8-3 Monday night and took down Perry 8-0 on a brilliant but breezy Wednesday afternoon at Wildcat Field in Delphos.
Due to extremely wet grounds on the diamond at Perry High School, the contest was moved to Delphos but the Commodores remained the “home” team.
The Wildcats got a stellar and efficient complete-game three-hit shutout from senior Ross Thompson, who struck out nine and threw a mere 68 pitches in improving to 2-1 on the campaign.
“He was overpowering at times with his fastball and changed speeds with the curveball that kept them off-balance. He was on tonight. It was the kind of performance you expect from your most-experienced senior pitcher,” Geary noted. “He was very efficient with his pitches and they didn’t hit him hard at all. The good thing is we made all the routine plays behind him; we made it easier for him by not booting the ball around and giving up extra outs.”
Jefferson (6-5) put together a nine-hit, 10-walk attack against four Perry (1-5) hurlers.
“It took us a couple of innings to really get going on offense. We showed great patience at the plate and we also had some solid hitting. We strung hits together,” Geary added. “The only concerns were a couple of base-running mistakes that we cannot have in closer games — those are minor but we need to eliminate them — and we left a lot of guys on base. Hopefully we can keep building on these last two games as we move forward.”
The Wildcats challenged early. Jace Stockwell led off with a free pass and, an out later, Thompson got aboard via an error. However, they became the first of 13 runners left stranded.
Corey Smith blooped a two-out single down the right-field line in the “home” half but Thompson fanned the next batter, touching off a run of 11 straight Commodore outs.
The Jeffcats made it 1-0 in the fourth. Jettinghoff led off with a double to left center and took third on a two-base error on a fly ball hit by Tyler Rice. With a drawn-in infield, Gage Mercer bounced to third, scoring Jettinghoff but Rice was tagged out at third. Jordan Herron singled down the right-field line to put runners on the corners. An out later, Josh Teman walked but Stockwell bounced out to leave the sacks juiced.
The Wildcats made it 4-0 in the fifth. Ryan Bullinger got aboard via an error and scored on a double to the fence in left-center by Thompson. Thompson later scored as Mercer grounded a hit into left and Rice, who had walked ahead of Thompson, took third on an error on the throw home. Rice then scored as Herron ripped a hit into center for a 4-0 edge.
It became 7-0 in the sixth on six free passes, but Jefferson stranded the bases loaded for the third time in the evening.
Jefferson added its final tally in the seventh on a one-out double to center by Thompson and a single to center by Jettinghoff.
“We lost our control in the later innings. When you give up 15 free bases on walks and errors, you aren’t going to compete,” Perry coach Mark Hoersten said. “Throw in we only had three hits and you aren’t winning games. Their pitcher threw a nice game, but I felt we should have done better against him. I thought we were turning the corner offensively last week, but we haven’t played since last week, due to weather, and we’re back to where we started.”
Jefferson 000 133 1- 8 9 0
Perry 000 000 0- 0 3 4
Stockwell ss 4-0-0-0, Bullinger lf-1b 3-2-0-0, Thompson p 4-3-3-1, Jettinghoff 2b-c 5-1-2-1, Rice rf-lf 3-2-0-0, Mercer 1b 3-0-1-3, Stemen ph-rf 1-0-0-0, Herron 3b 3-0-2-2, Fitch c 2-0-0-0, Binkley ph-2b 2-0-1-0, Teman cf 2-0-0-1
Buetner 2b 3-0-0-0, King ss 3-0-1-0, Smith c 3-0-1-0, Henson cf/p/lf 2-0-0-0, Russell ph 1-0-0-0, Ogle p/cf 3-0-0-0, Milligan rf 3-0-1-0, Bunch 3b 1-0-0-0, Rush 3b 1-0-0-0, Foley 1b 2-0-0-0, Sanders dh 2-0-0-0, Woods lf/p 0-0-0-0, Lavek p 0-0-0-0
WP- Thompson 7.0 IP 0 R 0 ER 3 H 0 BB 9 K
LP- Ogle 4.1 IP 4 R 3 ER 6 H 4 BB 3 K