Repeat, repeat: Jefferson rolls past Nitro for another title
Rain in Charleston threatened to delay to another day the state championship game featuring Jefferson and area favorite, Nitro.
The title game started hours late . . . but the Jefferson celebration and a repeat of its 2015 state championship made the momentary weather problems seem insignificant after the Cougars defeated the Wildcats, 11-2, to complete a season where the last win made the record go to 36-3.
It was the bottom of the Jefferson lineup and the complete-game pitching of junior left-hander Austin Cross that brought the school its even-dozen state championship.
Alex Tennant, batting sixth in the order, was 3-for-3 and scored three runs.
Josh Colvin, the eighth hitter, was 2-for-4 and had two RBIs.
Cole Walker, an outfielder stationed ninth in Coach John Lowery Sr.’s lineup, was 1-for-3 and scored twice.
Cross muzzled the Wildcats on just six hits while fanning eight and allowing two walks. One of the runs gleaned off him was unearned.
The Cougars jumped ahead with three runs in the bottom of the second. After a five-run spree in the fourth they were untroubled for the remainder of the game. A three-run fifth threatened to make it a 10-run game that would have called for the mercy rule to be invoked.
Jefferson’s last three championships have come in 2011, 2015 and 2016.
The top of the Jefferson batting order did its fair share of damage with Paul Witt, Austin Bulman and Charlie Barnholt all contributing hits and scoring runs . . . but the lower part of the lineup shown brightest on Saturday on the state’s biggest stage.
The Cougars did not lose to any in-state teams this season, losing to St. James (South Carolina) and twice to Mercersburg (Pennsylvania) Academy.
Jefferson’s motto could have been “Let it rain!” because the day’s suspended championship games in the state’s other two classes did not prevent them from completing their appointed task.