Jackson wins duel
Raiders pitcher dominant in 4-0 victory
Something unusual jumped around inside Ryne Jackson all day Friday.
Apparently, pre-game jitters are a wonderful thing for the Lawrence Raiders pitcher. He disposed of them quickly, then threw a complete-game shutout in the Raiders’ 4-0 victory over Hays on Friday at the Al Ice Memorial Woodbat Classic.
As usual, Jackson was solid on the mound, striking out five and allowing just five hits. But this time around, he was anxious in the hours leading up to the round-robin game at Hoglund Ballpark.
“I thought about it all day,” Jackson said. “I was a little nervous, and I don’t even know why. I think I over-thought about it.”
Jackson won an intense head-to-head battle with Hays pitcher Aaron Breit, who threw 87 mph and had a wicked curveball to mix into Lawrence’s diet. At one point, Breit struck out eight of nine Raiders batters and ended up striking out every Lawrence batter at least once.
Didn’t matter. Jackson wasn’t about to budge and give Breit a run or two to work with. With no runs, Hays had no chance to win.
“That’s two times in a row he’s been very good,” Raiders coach Reggie Christiansen said of Jackson. “He was getting ahead early, and he threw first-pitch fastball 85 percent of the time on the outer half. He knows how to pitch.”
Lawrence (17-7) finally adjusted to Breit in the fourth inning. Dominick Harrell led off the inning by ripping a double over the left fielder’s head, then scored when Chris Coleman hit an infield single and advanced on a throwing error.
After a Taylor Martin walk, Brett Lisher plugged the gap in right-center field for a two-run triple, giving the Raiders a 3-0 lead.
“We talked about being aggressive early in the count with the fastball,” Christiansen said. “When we got behind in the count, we had no chance. We got buried with that breaking ball.”
Lisher also singled and finished 2-for-3 on the night. Lawrence’s final run came in the fifth, when Paul Metzler singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Harrell.
Breit finished with 12 strikeouts in six innings, but gave up six costly hits in the process.
It was a solid offensive night for the Raiders, considering they faced one of the top pitchers in the state.
“The first day, we’re kind of preoccupied with the fact that we’re swinging a wood bat,” Christiansen said. “The second day, it’s baseball. It doesn’t matter if you’re swinging wood or aluminum. I don’t think it was a big concern today.”
The Raiders will try to finish unbeaten in round-robin when it takes on Tulsa at 7:30 tonight. Tulsa beat Dodge City, 1-0, Friday to improve to 2-0.
Raiders 4, Hays 0
Hays 000 000 0 — 0 5 3
Lawrence 000 310 X — 4 6 2
W– Ryne Jackson. L– Aaron Breit.
2B — Hays: Cody Zeman; Lawrence: Dominick Harrell. 3B — Lawrence: Brett Lisher.
Raiders highlights: Ryne Jackson complete-game shutout, 5 strikeouts; Brett Lisher 2-for-3, 2 RBIs; Dominick Harrell 1-for-2, RBI.