Warhawks edge Enterprise; improve conference record
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
The Jefferson Davis Warhawks' transformation on the diamond since the beginning of the season has become more apparent with each victory.
After a 2-12 start, the Warhawks have won eight of their last 10 games while improving their overall record to 10-14. In the process, what began as an inexperienced, freshmen-dominated squad has molded into a seasoned group of talented performers capable of competing for conference honors.
JDCC continued its strong play of late with a March 22 conference road win over Enterprise State Community College. With the victory, the Warhawks upped their conference mark to 2-1.
Following the latest victory, JDCC head coach Jim Morrill assessed his team by saying the Warhawks' recent success was a matter of maturity coupled with a dedicated work ethic.
Against Enterprise State, JDCC proved its ability to fight back from adversity. After building an early lead, the Warhawks fell victim to a big Enterprise inning midway through the game that placed them in a position of having to mount a comeback. Getting clutch pitching to go along with timely hitting down the stretch, JDCC did what was necessary to regain the lead and return home with the win.
The Warhawks burst from the starting gate on their way to a first inning lead. Steven Cadenhead doubled to get a rally going, and then came home on Jack Schwartz's RBI double that put JDCC ahead, 1-0.
JDCC starting pitcher Ben Glass, who allowed only two base hits in 4 1/3 innings of work, sat down the Enterprise State batters in both the first and second innings before the Warhawks got things going in the top of the third.
The duo of Cadenhead and Schwartz once again carried the load in the third inning rally. Cadenhead's single was followed by a RBI base hit by Schwartz that propelled JDCC to a 2-0 advantage.
After Glass kept the Enterprise bats silent in the bottom of the third, the Warhawks struck again on the offensive end in the top of the fourth. A solo home run by Josh Padgett cushioned the lead to 3-0 before a double by Dustin Holtzclaw drove home another run for a 4-0 JDCC lead.
Facing a sizable deficit as they came to bat in the bottom of the fourth, Enterprise State took advantage of Warhawks' defensive miscues to claim the lead. After an Enterprise double began the rally, two errors, a walk and two wild pitches by JDCC contributed to five Enterprise runs that put them on top, 5-4.
The Warhawks dug deep to tie the game in the top of the sixth. Holtzclaw reached on an error before moving to second on Cadenhead's sacrifice bunt. Schwartz then came through with his third RBI base hit of the game, a single that scored Holtzclaw and knotted the score at 5-5.
Dustin Blakey, who came on in relief for the Warhawks, handled the Enterprise offense in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings before the JDCC offense produced the winning run in the eighth.
Schwartz singled to begin the inning and then moved to second after an Enterprise fielding error. Bo Keahey then delivered a clutch RBI single that allowed the Warhawks to regain the lead at 6-5.
Needing to put the clamps on the Enterprise offense in the bottom of the inning to secure the win, the Warhawks got just that in the form of reliever Blakey. After getting the first out on a fly ball to left field, Blakey struck-out the next two batters to complete the 6-5 JDCC win.
Blakey allowed two hits and struck-out six over 3 2/3 innings while earning the win.
Offensive leaders for the Warhawks were Jack Schwartz, 4-for-5 with three RBIs; Josh Padgett, 2-for-4 with a home run and RBI; Steven Cadenhead, 2-for-4 and Dustin Holtzclaw, one RBI.