Junior Jared Vick stares down his opponent. The catcher gives him the signal and Vick nods his head in agreement. In one quick flick of the wrist, the ball zips past the batter and lands cleanly in the catcher’s mitt. The crowd cheers and the game is over. This is yet another win for the Johnson varsity baseball team.
The Jaguars baseball season is coming to a close. However, this is no time to slack off. While most of the non-district games have been played, the district part of the schedule is in full swing and every win is as crucial as ever.
“We’re really looking forward to making a run and winning district this year. Even though we lost a lot of guys from last year, we still have high expectations,” Vick said.
The teams’ overall record is 11-6-1 (due to an 8-8 tie against Clemens). The teams’ first district game was on February 26 against MacArthur. After 7 hard-fought innings, the Jags prevailed with a 2-1 win. Since then, the Jags have won 6 of their last 11 games.
“We’re doing really well so far this season. The competition is up for the taking because no one team has really separated themselves from the pack,” Sophomore Tanner Scarborough said.
The Jags recently played back to back district games resulting in a 1-4 loss to Churchill. However, the Jags were able to get back on track and dug out an 8-1 district victory of Roosevelt. With this win, the Jaguars moved into a four-way tie for the best record in district (2-1). They were then defeated by their rivals: The Reagan Rattlers. The final score was 6-4. With this loss, the Johnson Jaguars lost their share of the best district record.
“Of course we want to win as many games as possible, but winning against Reagan is just that much sweeter. Those are definitely the games that we want to win the most. We’re disappointed that we lost to them, because we really collapsed in the last inning and gave up the game. I can’t wait to play them again,” Vick said.
Although the Jags do not have the best district record at the moment, there are still more district games ahead on the schedule. The team has not given up on winning district just yet.
“We still have a lot of district games left in our season. We’re only a game behind Reagan for the best district record so its not like we’re way behind the competition. We’re still very confident in our ability to finish the season out on top,” Scarborough said.
The Jags’ next game will be against Lee on March 23. This will be another highly important district game for the Jags. Amongst the remaining district games is another matchup against Reagan Rattlers on April 16.
“We definitely have that matchup circled on our schedule. We’re going to take it to them next time that we play them. But thats not the only game on our schedule. There are plenty of other teams that we need to take seriously. Coach has done a good job of making sure that we prepare for each and every match up. We know that if we don’t play our best, we can find ourselves losing games,” senior Conner Geselle said.
With such strong competition, no game can be overlooked. And although winning the majority of all these matchups won’t be a walk in the park, the Jags are up for the challenge.
“Every game counts. We have to go out and treat every game like its state. Anything short of that isn’t good enough. We have high expectations for ourselves, but thats just Johnson baseball,” Geselle said.