The St. Joseph-Ogden High School baseball team avoided its first losing streak of the season with a win on Thursday afternoon.
The Spartans used some opportunistic offense to defeat Westville 9-4 at home, a day after SJO lost a close 2-1 home game to Centennial.
Keegan McCarty led the offense for SJO (6-4) by going 3 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Sam Wesley (2 for 3, three runs scored), Adam Frerichs (1 for 2, two RBI) and Drew Coursey (two RBI) also contributed at the plate.
SJO used three pitchers, with Caleb Johnson picking up the win in relief. Joe Acton started and went two innings, giving up two hits and one run. Johnson threw the next two innings, allowing three hits on three runs while striking out one and walking one. Coursey was effective in relief, throwing three shutout innings, only allowing two hits to go along with two strikeouts and one walk.
SJO took a 3-1 lead after the first inning thanks to an RBI single by Frerichs before Crayton Burnett walked and came around to score on a wild pitch. Coursey then delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Wesley and give the Spartans the early advantage.
SJO tacked on another run in the third inning after Wesley singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a groundout by Kaden Jacobs and then made it to third on a wild pitch. This allowed Coursey to lift the ball in the air with another sacrifice fly, giving SJO a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Westville, however, tied the game at 4 in the top of the fourth on a three-run home run, but SJO responded in its half of the fourth.
McCarty singled to start the inning and then stole second base. With one out, Adam Rose singled to advance McCarty to third base, and McCarty came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Frerichs to give SJO a 5-4 lead.
SJO’s offense kept it up in the fifth inning. Wesley led off with a single, Jacobs walked and Coursey walked to load the bases with no outs.
Robert Gebbink put the ball in play, hitting into a fielder’s choice that scored Wesley and made it 6-4. McCarty then came through with a two-run single to give SJO an 8-4 lead before McCarty came around to score by the end of the inning to put SJO up 9-4.
The Spartans’ defense came through with some clutch plays in the final two innings to preserve the score and the nonconference win.
SJO is slated to return to the field on Saturday in Teutopolis, barring any inclement weather. The Spartans are set to play Teutopolis at 10 a.m. before taking on Stillman Valley at noon. SJO returns home for a 4:30 p.m. game on Monday against Mahomet-Seymour before welcoming in Argenta-Oreana for a 4:30 p.m. home game next Tuesday.