By Beth Cox
The JCHS baseball program, without a doubt, has endured many changes this season. Upon the passing of head coach Pete Pavusek, the Longhorn Nation was unsure how well the season would go under the leadership of Coach Eric Crabtree.
To his credit, the new head coach put players before performance and led with his heart while making sure Pavusek’s memory was always a part of every victory. In return, the baseball players played every game with fire and soul and were a force to be reckoned with, and they proved that with their second-place finish for the season with a hard-fought win over West Greene Friday night at Mosheim.
The Longhorns came out strong against the West Greene Buffaloes, but it wasn’t until the third inning they got some runs on the board. With bases loaded, Graham Reece hit a fielder’s choice bringing in one run, and then a two-out single by Peyton Pavusek brought in another run. The Longhorns were leading 2-0 going into the fourth inning. West Greene got three runs in the fifth. Lewis had gotten two outs against the Buffs, but a walk for Camerson Wilhoit brought in their first run. West Greene was able to get two more runs in when Mason McCamey got a two-run single.
The Longhorns were not too worried, as they fired back in the sixth with a Zack Parsons home run, making it a tied ballgame.
Johnson County wasn’t done quite yet. Dakota Holt fired a two-run double which put the Longhorns in the lead. Grayson Holt’s double to left field brought home three more runs, and Parsons once again stepped up to the plate and nailed a double, which gave the Longhorns another run and the win against West Greene. Seth Condor kept the Buffs scoreless for the continuation of the game and secured second place for the Longhorns.
Parsons had two hits with the home run, and G. Holt had two RBIs. Holt and Graham Reece had 2 hits.
Crabtree has always been optimistic about his team and their abilities. “Asa and Seth pitched great games against a good hitting team, and the defense backed them up with some solid plays,” Crabtree said.
Chuckey Doak went away with the first-place honors
in the conference, but Crabtree is still happy about
second place mainly because the first playoff game will
be on hometown dirt. “It
feels good to win enough to get the second-place
spot with a home playoff,
but there is still lots of
work to do to advance in the playoffs,” added the head coach.