One night after giving away a game at Waterloo East, Jefferson's baseball team stole one away from Burlington on Saturday night.
Austin Goodell's steal of home on a failed squeeze bunt attempt scored the winning run and Jefferson beat Burlington, 7-6, at Jefferson.
Jefferson (16-21) rallied from a 6-4 deficit with two runs in the sixth inning and one run in the seventh. Senior Chance Tiedtke, playing his final home at Jefferson on senior night, was 3-for-4 with two doubles and five RBIs.
Goodell led off the Jefferson seventh with a single. Sam Techau laid down a bunt that Burlington pitcher Joe George fielded. George threw to second base in an attempt to retire Goodell, but the throw sailed into center field and the runners ended up at second and third. Ben Koering was intentionally walked, loading the bases and setting up a force out at every base.
With Ky Kramer at the plate, Jefferson Coach Mike Kuba flashed the sign for the suicide squeeze. Goodell took off for home, George threw a pitch inside that Kramer missed and the ball bounced off the glove of catcher Derek Elmore. Goodell crossed the plate with the winning run.
"I missed it and luckily the catcher missed it, too, so we could score," Kramer said.
The squeeze play is nothing new for the J-Hawks. It has been a favorite of Kuba's this summer with this team.
"I wouldn't say it's our bread-and-butter," Kuba said. "But, with our team, we have to put the ball in play and move runners."
The J-Hawks used a sacrifice bunt by No. 3 hitter Jordan Dee to score the tying runs in the bottom of the sixth. Dee's bunt advanced Dylan Jellison and Christian Knox to second and third base with one out. Tiedtke followed with a grounder that pulled the first baseman toward the hole between first and second. He gloved it and flipped to the pitcher George covering at first base as Jellison crossed the plate.
George continued down the line and crossed into foul territory. Knox stopped momentarily before taking off for home and beating George's throw to the plate with the tying run.
"Coach told me to watch him as I round third," Knox said. "Then he said no, then he told me to go and then he said no. I said to myself, 'Whatever, I'm going.' I got thrown out before, but I was going to give it my best try."
Knox was thrown out at the plate on a throw by Burlington right fielder Kyle Werner in the fourth inning.
Kuba said he knew Knox was going to try to score the tying run in the sixth.
"My last 'No,' I knew he was going," he said. "Our players have good instincts and that was a good time for a gamble."
Tiedtke, who doubled home two runs in the first inning and singled home another in the fourth, got credit for two RBIs on the play.
"I got an outside pitch and was just trying to put the ball in play," said Tiedtke, whose 32 RBIs lead the team. "I told coach (Gordy Nordgren at first base), 'How'd you like my swinging bunt?' Then I found out I got two RBIs when I got back to the dugout.
"If I've been the right man in the right spot it's because my teammates have put me there. I try not to do too much with the ball besides putting it in play and helping out my team. Good things happen when you put the ball in play."
Tiedtke pitched the first five innings of the game, setting him up as starter when the J-Hawks open substate play Friday night at Muscatine.
"This game helped me," he said. "I was working on my curveball and I had a good fastball tonight. I think it got me mentally prepared for Muscatine, if I pitch that game."
Kuba would not commit to naming his starter. Tiedtke worked five innings and Colten Jourdan the last two. The pair have been at the top of the J-Hawks' rotation all summer, with Dee a close third.
"I think this was a good confidence builder for Chance," Kuba said. "He was upbeat and positive, even when we got down one or two runs. He had the right mental makeup and did some nice things."
Tiedtke said he was just trying to change the "mojo" after the J-Hawks gave up five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday night in a 6-5 loss at Waterloo East.
"We were disappointed and we needed some new mojo," he said. "Once we started putting the ball in play, we knew we could fight back. Everyone contributed and that's something we're going to have to take with us to Davenport and Muscatine."
Jellison scored three runs. Goodell had two hits and an RBI. Jefferson had four sacrifice bunts by four different players.
Jefferson had 11 seniors making their final home appearance. Seven were starters.
"This was really important. This was a lot of guys' last home game," said Knox, who will play football and baseball this fall at Ellsworth Community College. "This meant a lot."
Jefferson closes out the regular season Wednesday at Davenport North. The only way the J-Hawks can play a home game in the tournament is if they beat Muscatine and Burlington (11-22) upsets top-seeded Linn-Mar on Friday. In that case, Jefferson would host Burlington on July 16.
Chanse McChesney, lf, 4 1 0 0, Jacob Falls, 1b, 3 0 1 0, Zach Petterson, cf, 2 1 0 0, Kolton Atkins, 3b, 2 2 1 1, Derek Elmore, c, 2 1 1 0, Tanner Dunn, 2b, 3 1 1 1, Chanel Cordero, dh, 2 0 2 2, Trevor Martin, p, 0 0 0 0, Joe George, p, 0 0 0 0, Joe Gates, ss, 1 0 0 1, Kyle Werner, rf, 4 0 0 0. Totals 23 6 6 5.
Dylan Jellison, 2b, 2 3 0 0, Christian Knox, cf, 2 1 1 0, Jordan Dee, 1b, 1 1 0 0, Chance Tiedtke, p-lf, 4 0 3 5, Aaron Gruwell, cr, 0 1 0 0, Colten Jourdan, c-p, 4 0 1 0, Ben Koering, cr, 0 0 0 0, Austin Goodell, rf, 3 1 2 1, Sam Techau, 3b, 2 0 1 0, Dylan Wright, lf, 2 0 0 0, Koering, c, 0 0 0 0, Ky Kramer, ss, 3 0 0 0. Totals 23 7 8 6.
Burlington 021 030 0 -- 6 6 1
Jefferson 201 102 1 -- 7 8 1
Martin, George (6) and Elmore. Tiedtke, Jourdan (6) and Jourdan, Koering (6). 2B - Tiedtke 2. SB - Atkins, Elmore, Cordero, Goodell, Techau, Koering.
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