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Jefferson splits state doubleheader
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JEFFERSON — Despite getting blown out by a score of 24-2 in Game 1 of their second round series versus Blessed Trinity on Wednesday, the Jefferson Dragons staved off elimination in Game 2 to extend their season with a 3-1 win at Horace Jackson Field.

First pitch for today’s game is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Horace Jackson Field in Jefferson.

Blessed Trinity (21-9) handed the Dragons their worst loss of the season thanks in part to what can only be summed up as a four-inning game when they were just better in every dimension.

Freshman Rock Rucker (4-for-4, homerun, triple, two singles) barely missed hitting for the cycle for Blessed Trinity which raced out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

Jake Fields was out of sync from the outset and barely lasted two innings on the mound before Dragons coach Tommy Knight pulled him in favor of Conner Phillips.

Following the loss, the Dragons (25-4) had little time to hang their heads as the season hang in the balance. Knight said although not ideal, the situation was one his team was prepared for.

“We’ve played so many doubleheaders this year that we started talking about that from the very first time we played one,” Knight said. “What happens if you get killed in Game 1? How do you handle Game 2? And you know, it’s not really about that. It’s about the character of these kids right here. No matter how much you talk about it, if they don’t make a decision to not lay down in that second game, then we’re done.”

Jamie Sexton took the mound in Game 2, going seven innings and giving up only two hits and one run, a single-shot blast in the first inning to Alex Cruz, who took the loss for Blessed Trinity.

Sexton said there was no room for excuses with the season on the line.

“I had to keep my focus when I went out there,” Sexton said.

“I just did the best I could and it worked for me tonight. We knew we got embarrassed in the first game and we had to erase that. Once the game ended, they reset the scoreboard and it was 0-0 again.”

Sexton showed his mettle in the third inning as the Dragons clung to a 2-1 lead as he found himself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs. To make matters worse, he was facing the heart of the Blessed Trinity lineup.

Sexton proceeded to strike out two of the next batters and forced the third to pop out.

With Sexton setting the tone on defense, Fields made sure to make up for his less-than-stellar effort in Game 1.

Fields went 3-for-3 with two homeruns and three RBIs.

“In Game 2, Jake Fields was the difference in the game on offense obviously,” Knight said.

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