Jeter, Raiders Edge Griffins

Rodderick Woodard reaches to tag Keenan’s Jordan Smith at second. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Rodderick Woodard reaches to tag Keenan’s Jordan Smith at second. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

COLUMBIA (April 20, 2016) – Tuesday night the Fairfield Central Griffins took to the road to face the Keenan Raiders, and what transpired was a dazzling pitchers’ duel.

Keenan got the better end of the deal, however, as the Raiders just edged out the Griffins by the final score of 2-1.

“We didn’t hit well enough with runners in scoring position,” Griffins head coach Scotty Dean said.

Fairfield began the game on what seemed to be a positive offensive note, which were few and far between in this one. Rodderick Woodard and Antonio Jackson got on base, but the dominance of Keenan pitcher Jacquez Jeter prevented the Griffins from cashing in.

Toeing the mound for the Griffins was the ever dangerous Stanley McManus, who struck out the first two batters he faced on the night, and breezed through the Raider’s side of the first.

The second inning, much like the first, was quiet on the offensive front. Fairfield reached on an error, and Keenan on a walk, but the single baserunner did not translate into runs for either team.

Jeter quickly dispatched the Griffins’ lineup in the third, recording three consecutive punch-outs. Sanchez Lorick came up with Keenan’s first single, but McManus in his efforts to keep up with Jeter, finished the inning off with a routine ground ball.

Jackson, the Griffins’ leadoff man in the fourth, reached on an error, and a stolen base later was on third. McManus came up to bat with a chance to knock in the first RBI, but instead hit into a spectacular double play by Keenan third baseman Jalen Crewell, which ended the threat.

Jeter was doing more than just throwing heat for the Raiders. He got on base with a single, only their second to that point, and came all the way around to score off two McManus wild pitches.

“They got one of the best baseball players in this league, and I stand by that,” Dean said about Jeter. “That number 13 (Jeter), he can hit, God can he hit. We intentionally walked him with our best pitcher up there.”

The very next inning the Griffins tied the game back up. After Harvey Smith reached base on a walk and advanced to second via an error, he was knocked in by catcher Brandon Adams.

After Keenan’s scoring inning in the fourth, McManus and his defense bounced back, sitting the side down in order to polish off the fifth inning. McManus, who tallied nine strikeouts on the night, notched two more to end the fifth.

Fairfield first basemen Travious Williams and his dangerous bat reached base on a single to start the sixth. However, Williams’ pinch runner was picked off, and Jeter got a quick ground ball to stifle another potential Griffins’ threat.

Marle Poole came through big for the Raiders as the sixth inning’s lead-off man by picking up their third hit of the game. That go-ahead run came through to score on an extremely costly Griffins error.

Keenan knocked into a fly ball out to end the inning, but carried the all-important 2-1 lead into the final inning, with the bottom of the Griffins order due up to bat.

Jeter, like he had done all night, resembled an ace on the mound. He closed out the game by sitting Fairfield down 1-2-3, all by way of the strikeout. Jeter struck out 11 Griffins on the night.

The loss could have serious implications for the Griffins’ playoff hopes.

“They’ve (Keenan) got two more games left in the region, and we got one more,” Dean said. “If they win one against Pelion they’re in and we’re out. If they lose both then you go to a tiebreaker.”

FC: 0-0-0 0-1-0 0 – 1-4-3

KH: 0-0-0 1-0-1 X – 2-3-5

Pitching: FC – Stanley McManus (L), 7IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 4BB, 9K. K – Jacquez Jeter (W), 6IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 11K.

Hitting: 1B- Rodderick Woodard, B. Adams, T. Williams (FC); Sanchez Lorick, M. Poole, J. Jeter (KH). RBI- B. Adams (FC).

LOB: FC-3, KH- 4.


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