|Weekly Webb Gem:
Jalen Jackson, Williamsport Baseball
Williamsport’s Jalen Jackson runs home for a game-winning run against Jersey Shore. (Photo by Brett R. Crossley)
Jalen Jackson had already drove in two runs against Jersey Shore, but as the Bulldogs made a comeback it would be his final at bat that would prove to be the most important.
Jackson drew a five-pitch walk, advanced to third on a double and eventually scored the game-winning run on a Quentin Brown single. After taking a 5-4 lead, it was up to the defense, which ended the game with two strikeouts and a flyout to centerfield.
For Jackson, it was a continuation of an already solid start to the 2017 campaign. He finished the crosstown rivalry game against Jersey Shore going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored.
Jackson easily gets the Weekly Webb Gem honors for his performance, which helped the Millionaires snag their fifth win of the season.
“I was confident,” Jackson said of scoring the game-winning run. “I’m always confident at the plate. I got on there with a walk. We had to get a run. I knew once I got on base my team would bring me around. We just had to manufacture a run.”
His first at bat resulted in a double and the Millionaires first run of the game. Jackson drove the second pitch offered to him into the gap between left and center field. He quickly rounded first and reached second to the enjoyment of his teammates.
“You just have to go ahead and establish the pace of the game,” Jackson said. “You have to come out and know what you are going to do. Getting early runs is always a plus in games. It always helps in games like this.”
He singled during his second at bat and reached third on consecutive singles from Ethan Stryker and Quentin Brown. Jackson reached third with the bases loaded, but was called out on a force at home. His third at bat ended with a routine ground ball hit right back to the pitcher.
The final plate appearance for Jackson resulted in him scoring the game-winning run against Jersey Shore. It was Jackson’s shot at redemption after being called out at home. He delivered with a game-winning run for the Millionaires.
“He’s one of our seniors and one of the big-time guys we expect things from,” Williamsport coach Ryan Miller said. “He did everything today that we expected him to do. We need guys like that to step up in big moments and he did that for us.”
Jackson entered the game against Jersey Shore with nine hits, which was good enough for second on the team. He added two more to take this week’s top honors.
It was a promising performance after all the success Williamsport had down south at the Mingo Bay Classic Tournament. They finished with a handful of wins to help kick off the season.
“Coming back from the South we just have to keep the pace going,” Jackson said. “This isn’t the final product. We are working each game to get better throughout the season.”
Jackson has been outstanding for the Millionaires in the first quarter of the season. Obviously, the team’s goals are much bigger than five wins to open the campaign, but the foundation has been put down for the Millionaires.
“We take the trip down South to see a couple game early,” Jackson said. “Everything we do is to prepare for the end of the season.”
Williamsport 5, Jersey Shore 4
WIL 103 000 1-5 9 2
JS 111 010 0-4 3 0
Joe Fagnano, Isaac Snyder (4), and Michael Weber. Aaron Best, Brandon DePasqua (7), and Wyatt Lorson.
WP: Snyder. LP: DePasqua.
Top Williamsport hitters: Jalen Jackson 2-3, 2B, run, 2 RBI. Top Jersey Shore hitters: Timmy Saar 1-2, run, 3 SB.