SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — It would be hard for anybody to better the varsity debut made by Jefferson baseball player Brad Davis.
Davis is a left-handed pitcher. He is a freshman.
And now he has a 1-0 record because he came to the rescue when the Cougars trailed visiting Wyoming Area (Pa.) by a run with nobody out in the third inning.
Davis would pitch five complete innings. He allowed only one hit. And he allowed Jefferson to slowly make its way back into the game, finally winning, 5-4, when Andrew Grove clubbed a two-run home run in the fifth.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Davis virtually stopped cold Wyoming Area after the Warriors from Exeter, Pa. had taken a 4-2 lead against Cougar starter, Blake Johnson.
Once he got out of the third when left fielder Dennis Jackson threw out a runner at the plate, Davis went through four hitless innings. He fanned three and never allowed a ball to be hit out of the infield after the third.
Jackson had driven in Jefferson’s first run and Brandt Petrie had the team’s second RBI on a double to the fence in center.
Still trailing, 4-3, the Cougars finally went ahead in the fifth when Jackson had a sharp single and rode home on Grove’s two-run home run that eluded the leap at the wall by the Warrior left fielder.
In the Wyoming Area seventh, Davis walked only his second batter to lead the inning. After an attempted sacrifice bunt was popped back to Davis, the game ended when a liner to Petrie at second base was turned into a game-ending double play.
With a threatening weather forecast for Saturday, Jefferson tacked a game onto Friday’s schedule and made it a doubleheader.
There was no Davis to bail out the Cougars in the nightcap. Several relievers did pitch well, but a three-run first inning off Jefferson starting pitcher Andrew King could not be overcome and the Warriors claimed a 5-4 win themselves.
A sixth-inning Jefferson rally could only bring a 5-2 Warrior lead back to 5-4. And when the Cougars couldn’t score in the seventh, Wyoming Area had gotten a split in the two one-run games.
King did hit well. He had three of Jefferson’s seven hits and drove in two runs. Grove had two hits while Jackson and Anthony DiAmario each drew two walks. Petrie drove in two runs.
But the Cougars struck out seven times in losing to the combined effort of Ed Waikoviak and John Granteed.
Logan Maloney went 3.1 innings in relief of King. He gave up only one run.
Jefferson’s relievers had been the smile-producing patches the Cougars found in the doubleheader. Grove, Jackson, Petrie, and King provided some needed offense but it was the first-game showing of a freshman pitcher and the nightcap showing of Maloney that gave more promise to the doubleheader than anything.