Jasper rallies to stun Edgewood

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Jasper senior pitcher Grant Stratton (13) got the complete game victory Friday at Ruxer Field in a 2-1 rally against Edgewood in the opener of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame Classic. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

JASPER - Jasper was down to its final strike in the bottom of the sixth on Friday, trailing, 1-0, still looking for its first base knock against Edgewood senior Luke Hayden.

However, Jasper junior Connor Foley connected for a double to right centerfield. Foley stole third in the next at-bat with senior Andrew Wallace at the plate, and Wallace walked. It looked like Hayden was going to escape when Jasper senior catcher Ross Peter popped up, only for senior shortstop Dawson Blubaugh to drop it, scoring Foley, and also Wallace, who advanced to second during Peter's at-bat. The Wildcats (14-2) now held a 2-1 lead on the Indiana University commit, who notched 12 strikeouts.

The job wasn't done just yet, as the Mustangs had back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the seventh, but when junior courtesy runner Adian Goerges was picked off at second base, Jasper was firmly in control the rest of the way. Senior Grant Stratton moved to 5-0 and got the complete game to preserve the 2-1 win.

"When you get kids that good, that's your only chance some nights," Jasper coach Terry Gobert said.

Gobert didn't know how many strikeouts Jasper had, and figured it was around 18, but despite that, he lauded his players for having good at-bats that were six or seven pitches long. He knows, though, that's how a team has to win some games when it comes to the tournament, as ugly as it was.

Stratton himself proved to be formidable, allowing a two-out RBI single to Mustangs freshman Andrew Good in the top of the fourth that scored senior Coleman Sater, and that was all he surrendered. He struck out six batters and walked none while going the distance for the Wildcats.

"I thought he was fantastic," Gobert said of Stratton. He did a nice job even after he gave up the run and then he had a bad at-bat, he didn't carry it out there. I thought he was really good, and I thought our defense made some nice plays in tough conditions."

This game was originally supposed to start at 5:45 p.m., but rain kept Jasper and Edgewood off the field for two hours. The Wildcats entertained themselves by writing on baseballs and playing tic tac toe and hanging out in the dugout. Yet, when it stopped raining, Jasper got the field ready, and though it rained sporadically throughout the night, first pitch finally happened, and the game that saw a two-out rally moved along quickly.

"It was a tough game, and that was a tough one for them to lose, but that's the kind of kid we need to face," Gobert said.

The Wildcats are set to back it twice today in this Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame Classic. They are scheduled at 11 a.m. to play Daleville, then have a 5:45 p.m. game against New Palestine.




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