One night after taking an 11-1 loss at Lee County, Triton’s varsity baseball team bounced back by edging the Yellow Jackets, 4-3, on Senior Night for the Hawks on Friday for their first Tri-County Six 3-A Conference win of the season.
“We put a completely different team out there tonight,” said Triton coach Jacob Willis. “The boys showed up differently tonight. They showed up to take care of business and that’s what they did. We needed that after last night.”
“We’ve had a little bit of a problem finishing ball games. That’s been one thing we’ve been harping on big time and that’s why it was so nice to see them come out and finish a game like they did today. We had a little bit of a lull in the middle, which we’ve been seeing. But unlike some of the other games, we came back and finished and that was definitely nice to see.”
Senior right-hander Ethan Glover went the distance on the mound to record the win for the Hawks (3-3, 1-1 TCSC), giving up two earned runs on seven hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.
“He threw a gem,” Willis said. “Even when he got himself in jams, he battled his way out of it. As a senior, a guy who came out and shined on Senior Night. What more can you ask for?”
Freshman Thomas Frazer also pitched a complete game for the Yellow Jackets (4-2, 1-1), yielding three earned runs on four hits and four walks, with three strikeouts.
Sophomore Anthony Jones had a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored, sophomores Xander Johnson and Ross Stevens each had one hit and one run scored, senior Josh Jackson had one hit and senior Ira Matthews had one RBI for Triton.
Senior Ethan Stanley had two hits and one RBI and senior Carson Kelly had two doubles and two runs scored to lead Lee.
Prior to the game, Triton honored nine seniors: Dalen Thompson, Sam Capps, Zy McDougald, Dylan Smith, Carson Tart, Ethan Glover, Ira Matthews, Josh Jackson and Payden Crews.
“The seniors have been through a lot with this program,” Willis said. “They’ve seen a little bit of a change and a turn and the one thing they’ve done is they’ve stuck with it. They’ve stuck with it. They’ve bought in little by little with what we’re trying to do. Granted, it’s a work in progress, but we’re getting there. And the hope for this senior class is that they will help build the program and get us moving forward with the younger class we have up here, as well.”
Triton capitalized on errors to take an early lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jones reached on an error and scored on an error on a sacrifice bunt from Matthews.
Kelly doubled to lead off the top of the fourth and scored on a base hit from Stanley to tie the game.
But Triton reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run to the scoreboard in left from Jones, also scoring Stevens, who had reached on a base hit.
“Absolutely huge,” Willis said. “(Jones) was my cleanup hitter previously and had been struggling a little bit at the plate. For him to come through in that moment as a sophomore is big.”
Kelly doubled again to lead off the top of the sixth, advanced on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to one.
In the bottom of the sixth, Johnson drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a ground ball from Stevens, beat the throw to third when Jones reached on a fielder’s choice and scored when Matthews reached on a fielder’s choice.
With two out in the top of the seventh, Eli Garrison doubled and scored when Cameron Cabe reached on an error. But Glover rallied with a strikeout to end the game.
Triton is at home against conference foe Southern Lee (2-2, 1-1) on Tuesday.
“We’ve got a strong conference, without a doubt,” Willis said. “It’s going to be a battle all year. But, it’s going to be a battle that we’ve got to finish.”