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Jets come up short in pitchers’ duel against Father Ryan, win three other weekend games

By CALEB ODOM
caleb@themadisonrecord.com

MADISON — The James Clemens baseball team came up short in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel with Father Ryan on Saturday, March 18 at home.

The Jets had several opportunities to push runs across on a cold, morning tilt, but base-running mistakes proved costly.

“I just think we are a very undisciplined baseball team,” James Clemens head coach Johnny Johnson said. “You can’t dance around out on the bases and get picked off. You can’t get back-picked off from the catcher in that situation in the seventh. You have got to get bunts down when it matters.”

The margin for error was razor-thin as the Irish turned to starting pitcher Aiden Carr, who was lights out tossing six scoreless innings with five strikeouts and two walks with three hits.

“I felt I was pretty good,” Carr said. “I usually like to pitch to contact. I had a few strikeouts, but I thought I did pretty good.”

The Jets relied on a strong outing on the mound from Cade McComb, who allowed one run in six innings with five strikeouts, three walks and six Irish hits.

“Our pitchers did a good job,” Johnson said. “Cade threw strikes with the breaking ball today, which makes him very effective and really deserved to win that game. And then Hunter (Harris) came in and got us that last inning after Cade kind of ran out of gas. I was proud of those two guys for sure.”

James Clemens appeared always on the verge of breaking through with runs, but Carr and Father Ryan continued to wriggle off the hook.

The Irish wasted no time getting on the bases with a single and double to begin the top of the first inning, but McComb was a willing dance partner.

“I felt good. Velo was down pretty dramatically” McComb said.

“Curveball and offspeeds were looking pretty good today, but my location wasn’t up to par today.”

He might not have had his best stuff, but McComb shut down the first inning threat by striking out the side looking.
The lone run of the contest came for Father Ryan in the top of the second inning, when left fielder Ethan Dougharty’s sacrifice fly drove in Addison Boerner who had reached base with a one-out single earlier.

The Jets found themselves with a golden opportunity in the bottom of the second inning when third basemen Ty Marsh led the inning off with a double.

A bunt by Satchel Wheeler moved Marsh to third base with just one out but back to back strikeouts sent James Clemens back to the dugout with nothing.

A pair of Jets singles by Nate Guyse and Marsh in the bottom of the fourth were also left stranded as the score still held at 1-0 Irish.

The bottom of the sixth inning imploded for James Clemens when a Jets baserunner, who reached on an error, was called out as Carr found his shortstop at second base before the runner could get back.

Time was running out for the Jets in the bottom of the seventh, but another mistake on the basepath exposed James Clemens as the Father Ryan catcher gunned down a baserunner at second that poured water all over another possible rally.

“Their guy threw strikes and gave them a chance to win,” Johnson said. “We killed ourselves by being undisciplined.”

Despite a disappointing result in the Saturday morning game with Father Ryan, James Clemens still had plenty to be proud of this week in three other games.

Thursday, March 16:
James Clemens 10, Russellville 7
A six-run sixth inning would help lift the Jets over the Golden Tigers in a high-scoring affair.

Friday, March 17:
James Clemens 11, Athens 1
Luke Davenport was masterful for James Clemens tossing six innings of one-run, seven-hit baseball with 13 strikeouts and three walks on St. Patrick’s Day.

Game 2 on Saturday, March 18:
James Clemens 7, Etowah 2
Brooks Kulavich had two RBI sacrifice flys in this game as the Jets took care of the Blue Devils to salvage a Saturday that begin with a tough loss to Father Ryan.

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