The St. James baseball team (12-9) finished off their regular season with a trip to Crocker on Thursday, May 10. The Tigers ended their season on a high note, mashing in 14 runs in a 14-7 win over Crocker.
The Tiger offense got started early and never slowed down. The score one in the first, before going off for six in the second. Crocker responded with one in the third, before St. James scored two more in the top of the fifth. The Lions were able to score five in the bottom of the inning, but the game was already out of reach. The Tigers outscored Crocker 3-1 in the final two innings to finish off a 14-7 win.
The St. James hitters combined for a stellar 20 hits in the win, with 10 batters contributing at least one base hit, while also stealing nine bases as a team. Drew Moritz was the top hitter in terms of run production, driving in four runs on two hits, which included a double, while scoring twice. He also added a pair of stolen bases. Jaden Roark added three hits, including a triple, three RBI, two runs scored and a steal, while Gunnar Seams drove in a pair on two hits, while scoring a run and stealing a base. Ty Lewis added three hits of his own, one of which was a triple, while scoring twice and driving in a run and swiping a bag. Drew Bouse and Lyndon Carson also added RBI, while Bouse, Andrew Branson and Alex Evans each had multi-hit games.
The Tigers spread the load on the mound with six different pitchers seeing action. Lewis had the longest run on the mound, pitching two shutout innings and earning the win. He allowed just one walk and struck out two in the victory. Branson and Evans each pitched one shutout inning, allowing a hit a piece and striking out one batter. Branson also walked one. Michael Higgenbotham was on the mound for the fifth inning that saw five runs come across home plate, though only four were earned, on hitve hits and a walk. Moritz and Seams each pitched one inning and allowed a run a piece one one hit and a walk. Seams also struck out two batters.
"We played well," said head coach Shannon Snitker after the win. "We had six different pitchers on the mound who did good. We had 20 hits and scored 14 runs. It was a good all-around team win!"
Next up for St. James is Districts, which will be hosted by Sullivan starting on Saturday. The Tigers will face Salem in their first game. The last matchup between the two Tiger schools saw St. James lose after an error-filled first inning, but St. James has cleaned up their defense a bit since then. Coach Snitker hopes they can keep trending in the right direction and make a run in Districts.
"I always tell my guys that if you can get seven hits and have one error or less, that you have a great chance at winning a baseball game," said Snitker. "I hope the day of the doubleheader was just a bad day. We have been scoring more runs and doing a better job defensively the last three weeks. If we can keep pitching and do the other things for a couple more weeks, who knows how far we can go."