By Jeremy McDonald
GERVAIS, Ore.– The Gervais Cougars baseball team had a couple of hiccups here and there in game versus Jefferson Monday afternoon in a rarity that was playing on their home turf.
But they too battled in the 7-3 loss to the Lions as Gervais looks to piece together a complete game with the season winds down.
They came out with two shutdown innings defensively, and though they gave up three runs in the third, Eric Wells was off to another great start en route to a five-strikeout performance versus Jefferson.
“I always try to go out there and do my job and I always want the kids behind me to back me up,” said Wells. “I go out there and do my job and I just try.”
It wasn’t long before the Cougs rallied, this time around with a two-run shot by Andrew Sullivan to bring Gervais to within one of the Lions entering the fourth.
The shot was Sullivan’s first homerun of the season and in his high school career and sure it was huge to get the G-Town Cougars back into contention for a win.
“It’s pretty cool, because that was my first home run in High School. I honestly didn’t think I’ll hit one this year because I’ve been struggling in practice,” said Sullivan on the swing. “I think it was important for momentum, I feel like we shifted the momentum but we couldn’t keep it and we lost it.”
Though some mental lapses on defense allowed Jefferson to build a three-run lead again entering the bottom of the sixth-inning, Gervais didn’t back down as they got base-runners on against the Lions defense with one out.
A error at third during a throw-out play allowed the Cougars to cut it to two with runners at second and third with a golden opportunity to do further damage.
“We just started to make plays, we’re still in it,” “We were still in it. We were doing a pretty good job keeping us in it.”
But a controversial call on a low-called strike that struck-out Derrick Jaramillo for out number two and a third out a few pitches later kept Gervais’ bats at bay entering the seventh where errors set up two more Jefferson runs with one out on the board.
Brett Gieselman came in for relief mid-inning and worked back from a heavy-ball count to force a pop-out to Ivan Burja in right field and with the Lion runner rounding second for third without tagging up on the catch, Burja threw it to Jaramillo at first for a inning ending double-play.
Down to their final three outs of the ball-game, the Cougars battled, but couldn’t duplicate their sixth-inning success, falling 7-3 to the Lions with a double-header versus Salem Academy Wednesday afternoon at home and another doubleheader versus Colton Friday afternoon.
“I feel like we can start off in the beginning and maintain it because our biggest problem is playing a full game, weve haven’t done that much this season,” said Sullivan. “So if we play a full game, I feel like we can maybe surprise Salem Academy and also feel like Colton’s a really winnable game for us.
“We were playing at our best the last time and we were missing five starters, but we’ll be ready this time.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald