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Jets soar into semis with Hoover sweep, Pats next

MADISON – The James Clemens Jets (31-11) locked themselves into the Final Four of the 7A Baseball playoffs with a 2-game road sweep of Hoover last Thursday.

A JC club that was ousted by Spain Park in the first round of the postseason a year ago is suddenly in the third round this year and facing a familiar nemesis in Bob Jones (40-7).

These bitter rivals square off Wednesday at Bob Jones High School with a double-header at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

If the schools split the games, there will be a third deciding game on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. back at Bob Jones.

The recent head-to-head numbers are not good for No. 10 James Clemens against No. 1 Patriots at 20-4 in favor of Bob Jones.

The Patriots also have seven series wins against the Jets and the last three series results are sweeps for Bob Jones.

But all hope is not lost for James Clemens that is playing some good baseball at the right time.

These Jets are in the Final Four for a reason with playoff defeats of Grissom in two games and Hoover in two as well.

This a club that might have found the confidence to slay the dragon this time.

Game 1: James Clemens 10, Hoover 8

The Jets took the lead 3-0 in the top of the first only to have it sliced to just one run in the bottom of the first when Hoover tallied a pair of runs to make it 3-2 JC.

The Bucs tacked on a run in the second and another in the third to lead 4-3 by the end of the third inning.

That was until a defensively ugly top of the fourth inning by Hoover that allowed James Clemens to score six runs with the help of some errors to retake the lead at 9-4.

The Bucs tried to climb back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh after JC scored its tenth run, but Hoover had dug too deep of a hole to overcome the deficit.

It’s worth noting that Hoover collected five errors in the first game while James Clemens had four of its own.

Game 2: James Clemens 8, Hoover 5

In the second contest, the Bucs had four errors and the Jets had none.

Offensive firecracker Carson Loosier carried the torch for James Clemens with his 2 for 3 evening that included a walk, an RBI and three runs scored.

Jets starting pitcher Luke Davenport gave his school six innings where he allowed four runs with five hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.

Hoover took the lead 2-0 in the top of the first inning only to see it sliced in half by JC with a run in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1 Bucs.

A run in the second and one more in the third inning by James Clemens tied the game at 3-3 after the Bucs had scored a third run in the top of the third via a home run by Adams.

Hoover grabbed the 4-3 lead briefly with a second home run in the top of the fifth from Howard.

The Jets stormed back in the fifth inning to score two runs off of errors when Hayden Markfort and Francisco Ramirez both reached home plate to hand JC the 5-4 lead.

James Clemens scored three more runs to expand that advantage over the Bucs to 8-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Loosier drove in Matthew Drinkwater.

David Sharp, who had reached with a single, came in to score on a balk by the Hoover pitcher while Loosier scored on a sacrifice fly by the JC second baseman Jesse Isensee.

The Bucs were able to score a fifth and final run in the top of the seventh inning off of relief pitcher Cade McComb, but James Clemens got the final three outs needed with infield putouts by Ramirez at short and Ty Marsh at third.

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