NDSS Golden Hawks pitcher Grant Jones was thrown into the fire on Thursday, asked to close out the game with the bases loaded with Sydenham Golden Eagles and his team clinging to a two run lead.
Jones got the job done, allowing just one run to preserve a 9-8 win in KASSAA league play at Kingston’s Woodbine field.
The win didn’t come easy as Jones got the first out via a ground out to second, allowing a run to score on the play. The next batter hit a comebacker to the mound. Jones alertly came home, igniting a run down between third and home. The Hawks were able to execute the play perfectly, tagging the Eagles runner as he dove towards the plate. Jones finished the win by striking out the final Eagles batter.
Offensively Napanee did most its damage in bookend innings, opening the game with a six run first before tacking on two more in their final at bat.
Joe Youmans and Jack Madden each drove in a run with back-to-back doubles to get the offense rolling. Gavin Brooks and Will Myers added RBI singles to push the lead to 6-0.
Madden got the start on the mound for the Hawks and was cruising through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. With the bases loaded and two-outs, the Eagles batter drove the ball to the gap; cashing three runs and then scoring on an errant throw home. The Eagles would pick up one more to cut the deficit to 7-5 heading to the final inning.
After their bats had fallen silent through the middle innings the Hawks were able to string together some hits and add two big insurance runs. Those runs would prove to be huge as the Eagles chipped away with three in their last at bat but ultimately wound up a run short.
With the win Napanee is now 3-1 on the season, sitting fourth in the KASSAA standings. They will take on Frontenac at 3:30 p.m. p.m. Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season Thursday against La Salle at 3:30 p.m., both games at Woodbine.