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In a development that shocked exactly nobody, the Jefferson Forest baseball team positioned itself to win yet another Seminole District regular season title.
Shocking? No. Exciting? You bet.
The Cavs dug themselves out of an early-season hole, one that had them trailing three Seminole foes in the standings at one point. Those three (Brookville, Amherst and E.C. Glass) were all methodically picked off by the Cavs as they moved ahead of the pack.
"We knew to get back on top, we had to beat all three," said JF Head Coach Jim Thacker.
The final piece of the puzzle came when Jeff Forest topped Amherst in a nine-inning donnybrook.
That win, along with a subsequent victory over Heritage, left the Cavs 9-2 in district play. Their final Seminole contest is scheduled to be played tonight (Wednesday evening) at Rustburg.
Amherst fell to Glass on Friday night, knocking the Lancers out of the hunt for the top prize.
Glass is a game behind JF, and the Hilltoppers have suddenly become huge fans of Rustburg.
But the big news coming out of Eastern Bedford County was the 3-2 win over Amherst.
The game was something of a microcosm of the JF season.
The Cav starting pitching yielded to effective relief work; the team played flawless defense; and someone stepped up with the most timely of hits.
Christian Sanderson picked up the win, tossing four shutout innings, having come in for the sixth. Prior to Sanderson's appearance, Jason Stafford threw two effective innings of relief.
Defensively, the Cavs held their season error total to 16 (over 19 games).
Pitching and fielding kept JF in this one. It was primo performances at the plate that sealed it.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jake Kliewer led off with a double and Cameron Byrd was hit by a pitch.
Kliewer, however, was caught in a run down. Byrd wound up at second.
Coach Jim Thacker sent Bless Jung in to pinch run for Byrd. Alex Bowker then sliced a shot over the right fielder's head, easily scoring Jung.
With a one-game lead, all JF has to do is top Rustburg on Wednesday to claim the regular season trophy and the coveted first-round bye.
"I think we're hitting our stride," said Thacker. "We're hitting throughout the lineup, for the most part."