SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — When Jefferson batted around and scored four times in the fifth inning, it had trumped Washington’s earlier lead. Cougar right-hander A.J. Boyd continued to keep the Patriots subdued with his nearly walk-free work, and with the help of several quality plays from his defense made his marginal run support hold up for a 4-3 Jefferson win.
For much of the third game between the county rivals, pitchers Dorian Hetzel and Boyd were the masters of the batters.
Hetzel had a two-hit shutout through four innings and Boyd had been solved for only three hits in his first four innings.
However, Washington led, 2-0. The margin could have been even more except that the Cougars recorded an inning-ending, 5-4-3 double play when the Patriots had runners on first and third.
In Jefferson’s eventful fifth, an infield error gave the Cougars a start. After a successful sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Kalen Nehler looped a soft double in front of the diving Drew Hetzel in right.
Runners were at second and third.
Anthony DiAmario easily legged out an infield grounder, and then Paul Witt came through with an RBI single that tied the score.
Hetzel was replaced by Jared Silva. He left with a five-hitter.
With the runners on first and third, Andrew King appeared to have grounded into a tailor-made double play, but the potential inning-ending throw to first sailed over the first baseman’s head . . . and DiAmario scored the go-ahead run.
Brandt Petrie looped a single toward right that plated King with a run that supplied Boyd with a two-run lead.
Boyd responded with more and more strikes.
He was helped by Witt’s diving catch of a line drive in left.
Still protecting a 4-2 lead in the seventh, Boyd fanned Bryan Bayliss to begin with but after a groundout, Seth Campbell homered to left.
It was a 4-3 game.
Boyd got the final out himself, fanning Hunter Weaver for his fourth strikeout. He had yielded seven hits and 10 baserunners after his defense committed two errors that didn’t figure in the scoring.
Jefferson went to 17-10 overall and the Patriots were 8-11. The Cougars had two wins in three games against Washington and would see the first game of the upcoming Sectional tournament versus the Patriots played at Sager Field.
Boyd had allowed only one walk. He hadn’t beaten himself. And he wasn’t beaten by Washington.