Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dickson, Lambert lead Jefferson to postseason win over West Geauga

JEFFERSON–Toby Dickson pitched a seven-inning shutout and Luke Lambert hit a solo home run in Jefferson’s 1-0 win over visiting West Geauga in a Division II sectional semifinal on Monday.

“Luke’s been a leader,” said Jefferson head coach Scott Barber. “He had one of his best swings of the year on that ball, no doubt about it. Toby’s just a bulldog out there when he’s pitching.”

Jefferson and West Geauga both posted runners on base in each of the first three innings but came away empty.

West Geauga’s Brett Ringenbach caught Wyatt Hanson stealing in the fourth and then caught Logan Saksa in the sixth inning to erase a pair of base runners.

A two-out walk and single set the Falcons up with two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but a great defensive play bailed out the Wolverines.

Dickson singled to left fielder Cooper Vosicky, who fielded the ball and hit cutoff man Finn Keenan. Keenan’s relay to the plate gunned down the runner trying to score.

Lambert gave the Falcons the only run they’d need when he hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth.

Dickson allowed one hit in the seventh, but that runner was caught stealing and a groundout ended the contest.

“I was pumped (when Lambert hit the home run),” Dickson said. “I heard (the sound of the bat), I knew it was gone. I knew to stay positive and just go out there. I knew what to throw to them to close the game.”

The Falcons recorded just five hits, but Dickson and the Falcon defense shut down West Geauga’s offense.

“It was just a great team effort; everybody contributed a little bit along the way,” Barber said. “Defense is the toughest thing in high school baseball. You win and die by your defense and pitcher throwing strikes. We had that today.”

With the win, the Falcons improved to 7-12 overall.

“It is a great thing because the coaching staff has talked to these guys tirelessly about being in tight ball games like this and what it takes to win them,” Barber said. “It just seems like it all came together day. I think with it being (the playoffs) and you’ve got to play a team that’s very evenly matched, and I think it was time just to step up a little more.”

West Geauga made several stellar defensive plays, including two throw-outs by Ringenbach and the 7-5-2 putout at home plate.

“I don’t think (those plays) phased us at all,” Barber said. “I think they said, ‘Okay, they made a play, let’s go out and make out plays.’ It was like a big heavyweight fight; you take a few punches and give a few punches. I think (we) were really in control of our emotions, and the mental game was there today.”

Dickson’s defense played flawlessly, committing no errors to help him work out of several jams.

“We worked on staying motivated before the game,” Dickson said. “Working out of jams is something big that we’ve worked on this season. I just kept my cool, took a deep breath, and kept going.”

Lambert led the Falcons at the plate, going 1-for-3 with the solo home run.

Michael Riffle, Giovanni Matticola, and Dickson each collected hits for Jefferson.

Dickson pitched seven shutout innings with six strikeouts and no walks allowed while only surrendering six hits in the pitching win and going 1-for-3 at the plate for Jefferson.

“I was just trying to stay within myself at the plate,” Dickson said. “On the mound, I usually just hum a song, try to keep it cool, and let it go.”

Tyler Fink led West Geauga at the plate, going 2-for-3, while also pitching five shutout innings with three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.

Keenan, Vince Vecchio, Brody Gruber, and Elijah Gudger collected hits for the Wolverines.

Jackson Remaley takes the loss in one inning of work where he allowed one run on two hits.

Jefferson advanced to play at West Branch in a sectional championship game on Wednesday.

 

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