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Jets 3-3 after first handful of games in Vegas

Posted on April 4, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cole Parkinson
Vauxhall Advance

The biggest trip of the season is well underway for the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball Jets as they’ve kicked off games down in Las Vegas. With six games under their belt so far, the team has amassed a 3-3 record after some great games against good competition. 

Game 1 saw the Jets line up against Villa Park High School out of California and they fell 4-1. The team saw a slow start with the bats as they only had one hit from Callum Thomson who went 1-3 with the lone RBI. Brett Getz went 3 2/3 innings allowing four hits, two earned runs, and four strikeouts. Rory MacDonald went 2 1/3 innings with two hits allowed, one earned run, and five punch outs.

Game 2 saw the Jets collect their first victory of the season with a 10-8 win over Bishop Alemany. Jimmy Boulanger, Jack Baxter, and Jacob Burgess pitched for the Jets while offense came from Stevyn Andrachick (2-3 with a home run and two RBI), Langdyn Cummins (2-3), Jacob Austin (double), while Jaxon George, Easton Kitura, Cedric Leblanc, Callum Thomson, Luke Wheatley (double) all collected one hit each.

Game 3 was another tough game as the Jets fell 4-1 against Cypress. Sheamus Ryan and Hudson Kozicki  were on the mound for three unearned runs while Andrachick, Karsen Haney (double), Wheatley, Aaron Fuzesy, Leblanc (RBI), and Austin each had a hit.

Game 4 was a high-scoring affair between VAB and National powerhouse Basic Academy as the Jets took the loss 12-10. Offensively, the Jets were led by Wheatley (2-4, five RBI), Fuzesy (3-4, two RBI), Eric Reiling (double), Haney (double), Kitura, and Thomson. 

The fifth game saw the Jets get back into the win column as they scored six in the fifth inning to beat Desert Oasis 8-1. Pitching was in top form as Baxter went three innings, Fuzesy followed up with two, and Getz and MacDonald each pitched one. Overall, the pitchers combined to allow only three hits. 

Andrachick continued to swing a hot bat as he went 2-2 with two RBI and Cummins, Kitura, Thomson, Simmons, Reiling, and Austin each collected a hit.

The sixth game on Monday night saw the Jets win 10-5 over Faith Lutheran High School out of Nevada.

With lots of games in a short amount of time to begin the spring, pitchers have gotten plenty of work in. The coaching staff has been vigilant to stay on top of pitch counts and make sure their guys get plenty of recovery with more games on the horizon.

“You know, so far so good. We’re relatively healthy and arms are getting a little tired and such, but you know 12 arms have thrown and all 12 have thrown fairly well, so that always helps. It’s just trying to keep a routine and trying to manage the arms with pitch counts and everything else,” added McTavish, who also touched on what the coaches look for from pitchers early in the spring. “To me, it’s just about trying to get hitters to put the ball in play — and you know more times than not, they can get themselves out. That’s kind of always your challenge as a pitching coach, you know the velocity is important, but at the end of the day, it’s trying to attack the strike zone and getting strike one. We talk quite a bit about trying to win some challenge counts, which is 0-0, 1-1, 2-2. You know those are the counts that if you don’t throw well in, those counts can flip bats pretty quickly and we did a pretty good job of that overall.”

Offensively, the team didn’t come storming out of gates early. As games went on though, the team started to string hits together and start to get things rolling.

“Well, we didn’t come out of the gates very well offensively — we damn near got no-hit as we only got one hit in game one. And then as we progressed through the week, the offensive approaches have gotten a heck of a lot better. We just have taken better swings and you know early on, we haven’t been outside and when you haven’t been outside it’s not easy to hit. No excuses by any means, but we did face a good arm in the first game and we started to press. Everybody was a little anxious and nervous early on, you know, the first game of the season and such.”

Despite the slow start, the team’s approach at the plate started to form and players got more comfortable.

“Our offensive side was really good today (April 1 against Faith Lutheran). We’ve progressively gotten better, and our approaches have been better. We lost the game 4-1 to Cypress, but we made six errors. We out-hit them and then we kind of played head-to-head with Basic and the 12-10 loss, they’re a nationally ranked high school so we haven’t played a muffin. (In the past) we’d play a couple easier games early and we haven’t had that, so we’re pretty happy with how the kids have responded and continue to get better.”

Next up is the Bishop Gorman Tournament and the Jets are ready to go. After a day of practice, they’ll be back out on the field.

“It’s going to be a tall order for the next tournament as well with the Bishop Gorman Tournament,” stated McTavish, who also spoke on what it’s going to take to compete and win games. “Now that we’re at game seven of the season, you just want to go out and compete — give yourself a chance to win and you know it comes down to good pitching and you’ve got to play solid defense and have timely hitting. We’ll face some good arms — we play a good team out of Salt Lake City in game one — Cottonwood High School which is a 6A high school. The last two games have been our best two games, but there hasn’t nearly been the same amount of pressure, so I’m optimistic we’ll come out and be ready to go. We have got all our best arms ready to go early in the tournament and we’ll go from there.”

The Jets kicked off the tournament on April 3 with an 8 a.m. game against Cottonwood.

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