Eisenhower earns first win for Jackson

Eisenhower head coach Alan Jackson celebrates his first victory after the Knights’ 8-4 Region 3 win over Cochranton on Monday at Werner Park in Russell. Times Observer photo by Steve Younger

RUSSELL — The Eisenhower Knights have been improving in each game this season and Monday they put everything together to get first-year head coach Alan Jackson his first win.

The Knights topped Cochranton 8-4 in Region 3 baseball at Werner Park.

Eisenhower got on the board in the first inning as Mason Degnan, Caleb Jakubczak and Cole Kellogg all singled. Jarius Casey added an RBI single and Kellogg would score on a balk as the Knights took an early 2-0 lead and never looked back.

Eisenhower would add four runs in the second inning on RBI singles by Griffin Williams, Shawn Pascuzzi and Johnny Palmieri. The cardinals would give the Knights another run on an error to make it 6-0.

The Knights haven’t spent much time playing with a lead this season, but their defense was stellar all day as they turned two double plays in the game, one on a heads-up play by catcher Griffin Williams, who made a nice catch on a foul ball and quickly threw to first base to catch a sleeping Cardinals base runner off the bag.

Eisenhower would add two more runs in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Kellogg and Casey to make it 8-0.

The Cardinals would give the Knights a scare in the sixth inning as they managed to load the bases and would get two runs with back-to-back singles. Eisenhower then replaced starter Caleb Jakubczak, who went six strong innings, with relief pitcher Derek Childs, who allowed a walk with the bases loaded and an unearned run. Cochranton would score four in the inning to cut the Knights’ lead to 8-4.

Childs struck out two batters in the seventh and got the final batter to pop up to the catcher to give the Knights their first win of the season and make their record 1-9.

Knights head coach Alan Jackson couldn’t hide his smile after the game.

“This feels so good. I tell our pitchers to trust their defense and tonight those guys behind them came through,” Jackson said. “Griffin Williams had a great game behind the plate, throwing out a guy at second and that double play was just him being alert.”

The Knights were missing starter Camron Jakubczak, who was out with a pulled muscle, but Jackson had high praise for his senior outfielder.

“With Cam out, he could have sat on the bench but he was leading from the bullpen and encouraging his teammates,” Jackson said. “That’s the Eisenhower baseball I remember and we will continue working hard to get back to that, but this feels good right now.”

The Knights get a day off today before traveling to Maplewood on Wednesday to face the Tigers.


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