Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Monday’s back-and-forth battle with South Aiken was a fitting end for the North Augusta High School baseball team’s season.
The Jackets (10-8, 3-7 Region 5-AAAA) fell to Dutch Fork 14-1 on Friday and scrapped their way to a 9-8 win against South Aiken on Monday, a game which was resumed in the fifth inning from an earlier game. The Jackets took a one-run lead on South Aiken out of the gate, then allowed the Thoroughbreds to tie it up before exploding for five runs in the sixth inning. They held on to win, as South Aiken scored four runs in the seventh to cut North Augusta’s lead down to one run.
“That’s been the history of this season,” Vic Radcliff, North Augusta’s head coach, said. “We came out and swung the bats fairly decent and put a run on the board. They came back and got a run, then we put some pressure on them by getting some hits when we needed them. That was big for us to come out and have a win today. It’s about coming out and playing the ballgame, I’m glad we came out with the victory.”
While the game had no playoff implications, the two teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, the game meant North Augusta’s seniors were able to play one last time for their school.
“It was really important, because it hasn’t been a very successful season, but we were able to end it on a good note,” Ryan Lark, the Jacket’s senior catcher, said. “All of the seniors will go out with a win and the guys coming back have some momentum for next year.”
The win over South Aiken ends a season that began with a lot of promise, but was derailed by inconsistent play.
“The season was pretty good, starting out,” Lark said. “We played a good game against Lexington, we lost, but it was a good game. We kind of struggled from there, but we came together for the Fox Creek game. We won that game and had a little bit of momentum going from there. Toward the end our momentum went from good to bad, then good to bad again. We ended it with good momentum by winning our final game.”
Radcliff saw his team fluctuate from playing good baseball in one game to making errors and not hitting in another game.
“With the work that they put in during the fall, I thought they would have better results from the pitching, but it didn’t happen that way,” Radcliff said. “Looking back at it, this season has been like a roller coaster. We come out one game and we look good, we look like we’re putting it together, then we come back again and look like we don’t know what in the world is going on.”