Sebastopol thought it found a way around Jackson Parker in the second inning. After Parker’s three-run bomb in the first inning Tuesday night put Stringer in the lead, Sebastopol elected to intentionally walk the freshman slugger with two outs and a runner on in his next at-bat. Parker’s older brother Jake – who was next up to the plate – made the Bobcats pay. Nearly following the path as his brother, Jake came a few feet shy of a three-run blast; instead, the junior slugger roped a bases-clearing double off the right-center wall to give Stringer a 5-0 lead.
“The little brother, Jackson, has been seeing the ball well lately,” said Stringer head baseball coach Wade Weathers. “He made a slight adjustment with his swing last week, and he’s not missing right now. It’s fun to watch him.
“He hit that three-run home run in the first…and the next inning with two outs they intentionally walk him which was the smart thing to do, but big brother made them pay. And like I told our guys [after the game] when someone intentionally walks you, that’s what you have to do. You got to make them pay, and that’s what Jake did.”
For video highlights and the full postgame interview with Wade Weathers, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/c15SWN_2aH0
Stringer never relinquished its lead Tuesday night, thanks in part to a complete game, three-hit performance on the mound by senior and Jones College signee Andrew Nix. The Red Devils remained perfect in Region 7-1A with a 5-1 win at home – handing Sebastopol its first loss in 7-1A as well.
“He’s just a strike thrower,” said Weathers. “He doesn’t throw that hard, but he’s going to give us a shot to win every game because he’s not going to walk people. He throws his fastball, curveball, and changeup for strikes. We had a lot of clean innings because of that.”
Nix, in only his second complete game of the season, had six strikeouts in the win. His first complete game of the year came against Clarkdale less than two weeks ago on March 30th. The senior right-hander started the game with three-three up, three down innings of work before some trouble in the fourth. Sebastopol scored its only run of the contest in the inning as a result of several two-out Stringer errors in the field.
“Nix had all of his stuff working, but he did get into some trouble in the fourth,” added Weathers. “But he was able to get out of it simply because he can throw strikes.”
After Nix delivered two more quick innings of work in the fifth and sixth, Sebastopol threatened again in the seventh. Another Stringer error and a two-out base hit by the Bobcats put runners in scoring position. Nix ended the game and threat by forcing Sebastopol to ground out for the third and final out.
Stringer totaled only three hits, but they came at the right time. Conner Hicks had the other hit for the Red Devils. His single through the infield in the first set up Jackson Parker’s three-run home run over the left-center wall.
The Red Devils can win the Region 7-1A title with a win over Sebastopol this Friday, or a loss of three runs or less. Weathers said he’s just focused on the win for his team.
“From a results standpoint that’s the goal of this team,” said Weathers. “We want to win a district championship. We’ve set ourselves up pretty good for that right now.
“We have to go on the road, and it’s tough to play there. We have to have a good mindset, and hopefully, we can get it done and roll into the playoffs next week.”