JEFFERSON — With come-from-behind victories in their three previous contests, Jefferson was looking to avoid that scenario when the Titans played host to Mount Wolf Wednesday, Aug. 2, in a Central League battle.
The home team got its wish.
Led by three-hit games from shortstop Jordan Watkins and catcher Joe Jasinski, Jefferson plated four runs in both the second and third innings to cruise to a 9-0 victory over the Wolves.
The Titans (20-9-1, 61 points) pulled into a tie for second with Manchester (20-10-1, 61 points) after winning their fourth game in a row. Both Jefferson and the Indians trail league-leading Stoverstown (22-9-0, 66 points) by five points.
“We’ve already had to come back three-straight times, so it was nice to get out and on top early,” Jefferson manager Pat Schultz said.
Those runs were plenty for Titans starter A.J. Cieslinski. The right-hander picked up his sixth victory of the season without a loss, tying him for the club lead in the win column with veteran Brian Bossom (6-2).
“A.J. did an excellent job for us pitching tonight,” Schultz said. “He had two rough starts and was getting a little tired, but he bounced back tonight with five scoreless innings.”
It was a tough night overall for the Wolves, who managed but three hits against Cieslinski and two relievers. The visitors managed to advance a runner past first base only two times during the contest.
The home team, conversely had a good day against Mount Wolf starter Tyler Page. The Titans sent nine batters to the plate in both the second and third innings while collecting 10 of their 13 hits over those two frames.
“Hopefully we’re on course to do the same thing like we did last year,” Schultz said. “Nine wins in a row.”
Jefferson has five games remaining and, if they win them all, they would indeed end the season on a nine-game winning-streak. That, however, is far from a certainty. Schultz and company still have games against the Vikings (13-15-1, 40 points) on Thursday, Aug. 3, and the Indians on Saturday, Aug. 5, as well as games next week against Dillsburg (3-23-1, 10 points), the Wolves (14-16-0, 42 points) and the Tigers.
Saturday’s showdown against Manchester is pivotal for both sides as they try to chase down Stoverstown. The Indians are currently on an eight-game winning-streak of their own after defeating the Tigers on Tuesday, Aug. 1. The loser of Saturday's game will face a steep challenge if it wants to catch Stoverstown.
“Manchester is playing really well,” Schultz said. “And they kind of did this last year too. It should be a lot of fun.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.