MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets baseball team held a 10-2 lead over Johnstown after three innings, but the Johnnies came charging back to cut the lead to one, 11-10, before the home team closed the door to win 13-10.
With only a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Jackets picked up a pair of runs. Jaxon Snyder scored on a Johnnies error and then Caleb Fry was brought around to score on an RBI double from Ryan Tiell to give Mount Vernon a 13-10 lead. In the top of the sixth, Kamden Breckler, who was pitching his first ever varsity action, closed out the game, allowing a single in the sixth, but finishing out the game with two groundouts and a flyout to give Mount Vernon the win.
Mount Vernon had strong back-to-back innings in the second and third, rattling off a combined 10 runs. Aaron Stallard had an RBI single to score Fry, and Carson Carpenter had a base hit to score Tiell and Breckler to put the Jackets ahead 3-2 at the end of the second.
The bats really got going for Mount Vernon in the third inning. Breckler had a two-RBI double, followed by RBI singles from Ashton Fisher, Stallard and Carpenter. Fisher also came around to score during Carpenter’s at-bat. Carpenter scored later in the frame to push the Jacket lead to 10-2 after three.
“From top to bottom, we can swing it,” Hunt said. “We talked about our approach of we want to be tough outs. I think that big inning was just guys deciding, I don’t want to be that last out.”
Just as quick as the Jackets threw up seven on the board, the Johnnies notched six runs in the fourth. Cole Workman had a two-RBI single to score Josh Boso and Bryce Barasch. Gavin Warden was plated by a single from Tyler Arter and Workman scored after Derek Foe drew a walk with the bases loaded. Arter and Ryan Beverly scored on a single to right from Boso to end the scoring for the inning and cut the lead to 10-8 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
“I think we have to do a better job of playing with the lead, understanding that 10-2 with a good baseball team is not enough,” Hunt said.
Noah Gleason scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to add some insurance, but the Johnnies continued to hang around. Workman again scored on an RBI single by Jaren Hewitt, who later scored after a walk with the bases loaded took him to home. Still with the bases loaded down one, 11-10, Breckler got a strikeout to end the threat and set up the Jackets’ insurance runs in the fifth.
Johnstown scored two runs in the first inning on an RBI double from Hewitt and a bases-loaded walk to Trevor Peters, putting the Jackets in an early hole that it took until the second inning to climb out of.
Carpenter and Breckler were solid at the plate, each knocking three hits on the night, with Carpenter recording three RBI and Breckler kicking in two. Stallard had two hits and two RBI on the night, while Tiell had a two-bagger and Noah Hubbard, Fry, Fisher and Jack Davidson each had a base hit.
Four Jacket pitchers toed the rubber Friday. Trenton Kane-Sapp, a sophomore who had never pitched in a varsity game before, started and went three innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs with four strikeouts and two walks. Will Small, who has limited pitching experience, and Hubbard, who has never pitched at the varsity level before, each went on for two outs, combining to allow five hits with three strikeouts and four walks, combined. Breckler came in to close it out, allowing one hit with a strikeout and a pair of walks.
“It really good for these guys to see good hitting,” Hunt said of his young. “It was good for them to see you can’t just rely on your fastball.”
Workman, Hewitt and Arter each had two hits on the night, with Workman and Hewitt each accounting for two RBI. Foe drew three walks. Peters threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, three earned runs and two walks. Workman pitched 1 1/3 innings with three hits, three earned runs and four walks, while Arter came in for the final inning, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and a walk. Workman and Arter each had a strikeout.
Mount Vernon improved to 2-0 on the young season with back-to-back wins. The Jackets return to action Tuesday at home against Ohio Cardinal Conference foe Lexington with a 5 p.m. first pitch.