By Jeff Whitener for Live Stream STL Media
Photo by Cheap Seats Photography
The Jefferson College baseball team had another very productive week, taking 4 of 5 games and improving to 23-16 on the season.
Last Thursday (7th) Jefferson crossed the Mississippi to play the Webster University JV team at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois. The Vikings would emerge victorious, beating the Gorlocks 8-2. Jefferson got things going in the 1st inning as Matt Albritton connected on a solo home run. In the 2nd inning, 6 was a serious number for the Vikings as they broke open the game, all with 2 outs. With 2 down shortstop, Jean Gonzalez singled. Jayden Gegg then drew a walk to put 2 on for Michael Paule. Paule reached on an error, scoring Gonzalez. Next up was matt Albritton and he also walked, loading the bases for Matt Schark. Shark sent a 1-1 pitch deep to centerfield for a Grand Slam, making the score 7-0. Webster would plate 2 runs in the 5th inning but the Vikings added an insurance tally in the 6th. Catcher Cole Myers led off the inning with a base hit and moved to 3rd after 2 wild pitches. With 2 out, Trevor Quick singled him home to make the final score 8-2.
Adam Hill led the Vikings to victory on the mound. He surrendered zero runs on 2 hits over 2 innings, striking out 1 and walking 1. Jacob Jarvis, Joe Dasho, and Quick all put in work in relief, steering their team towards the victory. Jefferson collected ten hits in the game. Jack Matousek, Matt Schark, and Trevor Quick all collected multiple hits, with Schark and Matousek collecting apiece. Schark also collected 4RBI with one swing of the bat.
48 hours later, the Vikings were at Hillsboro for the 1st 2 games of a home-and-home series with State Fair Community College. Jefferson would end up dropping game 1 by a score of 7-6. The game started well for the Vikes as they scored twice in the bottom of the 1st. Consecutive doubles by Peyton Howard and Josh Gibson put 1 run across. After 2 batters struck out, Matt Albritton singled home Josh Gibson to make the score 2-0. State Fair got a run on the board in the 2nd inning thanks to an error and 2 hits. The Roadrunners took the lead in the 3rd inning after 2 walks, a hit batsman, and a base hit plated 2 runs. But the Vikings reclaimed the lead in their half of the inning. With 1 out, Jefferson scored their 1st run of the inning after 3 straight singles off the bats of Joe Hamilton, Matt Schark, and Matt Albritton. Jordan Duncan was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases. CJ Cepicky came to the plate and hit a ground ball that was misplayed by the 2nd baseman. Two more runs came across and Jeffco had the lead at 5-3. Like prizefighters trading punches, State Fair came right back. A walk, a double, and a 2-out single tied the game at 5 all. Both teams were held scoreless until the top of the 6th inning when a 2-out, 2-run homer gave the Roadrunners a 7-5 lead. Jefferson mounted a comeback in their half of the inning but could muster only 1 run. Matt Albritton singled home Joe Hamilton, who had reached base on an error. With the score 7-6, the Vikings loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the 7th but made 2 straight outs before they could push the tying run across.
Alex Logusch took the loss for Jeffco. The freshman lasted 3 2/3rds innings, allowing 6 hits and 5 runs while striking out 3 batters. Matt Albritton got 3 of Jefferson’s 8 total hits in the game and recorded 3 RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
Game 2 may well be remembered as the “Matt Schark Game”. The Francis Howell High School product belted 3 home runs and amassed 7 RBI as the Vikings downed the Roadrunners 14-3 in 5 innings. The Vikings went to work early and often. After Peyton Howard led off the game with a base hit, Joe Hamilton was hit by a pitch, putting 2 runners on base for Matt Schark. Shark lifted a 3-1 pitch high over the centerfield fence for his 1st round-tripper of the day and the Vikings led 3-0. State Fair would get 2 runs back in the 2nd frame with a home run of their own before Jefferson would strike again. In the bottom of the 2nd, a Hesston Gray walk was followed by a base hit from Colby Ott. Peyton Howard was the next man up and he singled, scoring Gray. Joe Hamilton then notched a hit of his own, scoring Ott and Howard. Matt Albritton walked to put 2 runners on for Matt Schark. This time, Schark took a 2-2 pitch to left field for a 3-run shot. That made the score 9-2 but the Boys from the ‘Boro weren’t done yet. Colby Ott led off the inning with a walk, followed by a Peyton Howard single. Joe Hamilton tripled to deep right field, scoring both runners. A groundout scored Hamilton and this time; the bases were empty when Schark stepped into the box. Shark deposited a 1-1 pitch over the centerfield fence for his 3rd home run of the game and 3rd home run in 3 consecutive innings. The score was now 13-2. The Vikings needed 1 more run to shorten the game and a Peyton Howard solo homer in the 4th made it 14-3. After 3 quick outs, the game was finished in the 5th. Besides Schark’s incredible game, Peyton Howard went 4-4 with 2 RBI and 4 runs scored. Joe Hamilton was 3-3 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Tanner Perry went the distance for Jefferson. The freshman surrendered 3 runs on 3 hits over 5 innings, striking out 3 batters.
Early the next day, the baseball Vikings climbed aboard the bus for the 3 hour and 20-minute drive to Sedalia to finish the series with State Fair. The Vikings brought their bats with them, taking game 1 by a score of 20-3 in 5 innings. Jefferson scored a single run in the first as Joe Hamilton reached on a hit and came around later to score on a passed ball. State fair would take the lead in the bottom of the inning, scoring 2 runs off of Jeffco Starter Jordan Duncan. But the Vikings snatched the lead back in the 2nd inning and would never look back. Bryce Miller led off the 2nd with a double and with 1 out, Colby Ott was hit by a pitch. Later, with 2 outs, Josh Gibson notched a base hit scoring Miller and Ott to put the Vikings ahead 3-2. It would remain that way until the top of the 4th inning when Jefferson sent 17 batters to the plate. . Trevor Quick started the inning with a base hit then Colby Ott was hit by a pitch for the 2nd time in the game. With 1 out, Josh Gibson smacked a 3-run homer and the hit parade continued. Singles by Joe Hamilton and Matt Schark put 2 on for Matt Albritton. Not to be outdone, Albritton also hit a 3-run homer, and the score was now 9-2. After a pitching change, CJ Cepicky walked, followed by a Bryce Miller base knock. Trevor Quick singled home Cepicky and there were runners on 1st and 2nd for Colby Ott. Ott muscled a 2-1 pitch deep to center for another 3-run shot, the third Viking 3-run home run of the inning. Still, the Vikings batted on. Peyton Howard walked, then Joe Hamilton doubled him home. Matt Schark came to the plate once again and greeted the new State Fair pitcher with a 2-run blast to centerfield. It was the 4th Jeffco home run of the inning, and the score was now 16-2. Jefferson still wasn’t done. In the 5th inning, The Vikings started off the frame with a hit batsman, 3 consecutive singles, a walk, and a double. The score was 20-2 before the Roadrunners could wiggle out of the inning. State Fair would add a single tally in the 5th before game 1 was over and the Vikings put their bats away. Joe Hamilton accounted for 5 of Jeffco’s 19 hits, He hit 2 doubles, scored 3 times, and had 3 RBI. Quick, Bryce Miller, Ott, Gibson, Schark, and Albritton also collected multiple hits for Jefferson. Jordan pitched all 5 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs while striking out 6 batters.
The question before game 2 began was, would Jefferson have any offense left after scoring 20 runs in game 1? The Vikings answered that question right away, as they topped game 1’s output by defeating State Fair 22-8 in 7 innings in game 2. Jefferson jumped right out of the gate scoring 6 runs in the 1st inning. With 1 out, Josh Gibson singled and stole 2nd. With 2 outs, Matt Schark singled him home. Matt Albritton then reached on an error then Jordan Duncan walked to load the bases. CJ Cepicky singled up the middle, scoring 2 Vikings. With 2 runners aboard, Boone Shevey hit an opposite-field homer to plate 3 more runs. The score was 6-0 in favor of Jefferson, but the Roadrunners made a game of it, scoring 5 times in their half of the frame. The Vikings didn’t bat an eye and went straight back to work in the 2nd. Matt Schark got things started with a leadoff double. With 1 out Jordan Duncan notched a base hit and RBI, scoring Schark. With 2 outs, Boone Shevey reached base on a single and there were runners at the corners for Hesston Gray. Gray homered on a line drive to left field giving the Vikings 3 more runs. The score now stood at 10-5. State Fair scratched across a run in the bottom of the 2nd, but the Vikings got it right back in the 3rd after a Josh Gibson double and Joe Hamilton single. The game moved to the 4th inning and the Jeffco bats stayed red-hot. After the 1st 2 batters made outs, 3 straight singles from Howard, Gibson, and Hamilton pushed across 2 more runs. A Matt Albritton solo homer in the 5th made the score 14-6 in favor of the red & blue. A solo shot from Hesston Gray added another run in the 6th. Thus far, the Vikings had scored in every inning and the 7th frame was no exception. Albritton and Duncan reached base on singles. CJ Cepicky scored Albritton with a fielder’s choice. A hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases for Peyton Howard. He doubled home Cepicky and Shevey for the 17th & 18th runs. Colby Ott came to the plate and notched a base hit, scoring Cepicky. A walk, fielder’s choice, and base hit later and the Vikes had scored 7 more runs. The Roadrunners would score 2 in the bottom of the 7th, but it was far too little, far too late. Howard, Schark, Josh Gibson, Shevey, Gray, Joe Hamilton, Jordan Duncan, and Albritton all had multiple base knocks for Jefferson as part of the 22-hit barrage. Hesston Gray collected 4 RBI on 2 hits while walking twice and scoring 3 runs. Jacob Roettgen, Luke Nichols, Gavyn Dockery, and Hesston Gray combined to pitch 7 innings of 8-hit ball, giving 8 runs while striking out 7 and walking 5 batters.
The Vikings rode home with the knowledge that they have won 8 of their last 10 games in April and had outscored their opponents 113 to 44 during that stretch. They have scored 70 runs in the last 5 games.
Jeffco is back in action this Friday (15th) at St. Louis Community College for the start of a four-game set. They will be at home at noon on Saturday to face the Archers in the final 2 games of the series.
Come out on Saturday and support your baseball Vikings!