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Cavs mercy rule M-Men on diamond

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Byrd's six RBIs lead way for JF

By Mike Forster

  Jefferson Forest showed that it is the hottest team in the Seminole District.

The Cavs, in fact, vaulted into sole ownership of first place with their defeat of Liberty on Friday night.

The 14-4 mercy rule-shortened contest had the Cavs flexing some offensive muscle.  And none flexed more than Cameron Byrd.

The junior third baseman drove in six runs over the five innings of play.

"I like our offensive productivity right now," said JF Head Coach Jim Thacker.

The Cav skipper didn't like the Liberty offensive productivity in the game's early going.  The Minutemen posted a pair of first-inning runs off starter Alex Bowker

Hits by Jordan Eubank, Cam Morck and Corey Witt highlighted the Liberty attack.

The Liberty offense was hurt in the first inning when the Minutemen lost a run on an appeal.  A Liberty base runner left third base for home plate without touching-up properly.

Bowker, a rangy righty, was able to settle down enough to pitch four effective innings.

Meanwhile, with Byrd leading the charge, the Jefferson Forest attack was oppressive.  "They just continue hitting us well," said Liberty Head Coach Mike Thompson.  "We've thrown just about everything at them without figuring them out."

In fact the first five JF batters in the first inning ended up scoring.  That bonanza would be all the Cavs would need, as things turned out.

Besides Byrd's output (which included scoring three times), JF was paced by Cal Hodgert, who drove home three runs, with a pair of hits.

 

Uh-oh and Ah-ha!

The Cav victory did not, alas, come without cost.

In the first inning, Eubank and Antonio Fazio had a collision in a play at the plate.  Eubank arrived before the ball and it was a clean play.

Fazio, however, didn't return behind the plate the following inning:  Bryan Miller took over catching duties.

Faz spent the rest of the game with an ice pack affixed to his leg and a glum look affixed to his mug.

The hope here is that Fazio, the area's leading home run hitter, is back where he belongs in a quick fashion.

The Cavs could certainly use Fazio's help in the stretch run.  The slugging senior showed what kind of damage he can do when he went deep twice against E.C. Glass.

His six RBI's help lead JF to a 12-5 win in a game that had been pushed back a night, due to lightning.

"That was a big game for us," said Thacker.  

With first base on the line, Thacker's charges responded.  The Cavs racked up 13 hits to support the combined pitching efforts of Greg Brownson, Jason Stafford and Christian Sanderson.

The Cavs play Amherst today (Wednesday) in a critical matchup of Seminole District leaders:  Each stands 7-2.  Should JF prevail, the Cavs control their destiny the rest of the way.

If they falter, they'll be looking for help from the rest of the Seminole. 

Note to the Cavs:  It's hard to get help from those you've pushed around all these years.

 

Liberty near miss

The Minutemen nearly took care of the Bees of Brookville. The two teams were locked in a scoreless tie on Wednesday, when lightning halted the Bedford contest after five innings of play..

The two teams resumed where they left off on Monday.  The Bees were able to push home a run, however, to take the 1-0 win.

The loss spoiled a superb outing by Liberty pitcher C.J. Weeks, who scattered three hits over six innings against the highly-regarded Brookville batting order.  The sophomore is fast becoming one of the premier young ballplayers on the circuit.  He's one to watch.

The losses drop Liberty to 3-7 in district play.  The M-Men have games remaining against E.C. Glass and Amherst, which means they could play the role of spoiler.  Doing so would also likely move them up in the playoff seedings (which are based on district records).