Jefferis grand slam in 8th ends Sharks’ six-game skid
Race Archibald, Summer Staff Writer –Going into the eighth inning against the Hooks, the Sharks were down 5-2, had left a total of ten runners on base, and were struggling to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
Cody Jefferis (University of San Diego) made sure his team wouldn’t strand any more base runners as he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the penultimate frame.
His grand slam with one out gave the Sharks a 6-5 lead and powered them to a 7-5 victory over the Sea Division leader..
“I was trying to get something going for the team,” Jefferis said. “He walked the three guys before me, so I was looking to maybe get a base hit and score a few runs and get our team going for a late-inning rally.”
Jefferis’ home run was the only hit of the inning, as the Sharks (7-13) took advantage of seven walks.
“We’ve talked about situational hitting all year,” Sharks Head Coach Chris Brown said. “Putting the ball in play with runners in scoring position, we haven’t been able to do that for the last half of the season…..Jefferis was due and it was good to see him come out if his shoes.”
Cade Brown (Oklahoma) came on the mound to record the last two outs and earn the save, with two on base and the winning run at the plate. The Hooks fell to 11-10.
The Sharks fell behind despite getting another strong start from Jack Hyde (USD). He gave up one run (his first earned run of the summer) and struck out two, as well as surrendering four hits in his three innings of work.
Hyde has a 0.54 ERA (1 ER/16.2 IP) and 27 strikeouts in his six starts this summer..
“We’re happy we can get those three solid innings from him,” Brown said. “He’s been lights out for us.”
The Hooks’ Dylan Pottgieser (Pacific) and Graham Cartwright (MIT) both struck out five in their combined seven innings of work, as the Hooks took a comfortable 5-2 lead.
USD duo Tora Otsuka and Shane McGuire, as well as San Diego State’s Mike Jarvis, combined for the five RBI for the Hooks.
Nic Ayala (San Diego City) and Connor Culp recorded an RBI in the fourth for the Sharks, which was the only other inning the Sharks scored in.
“You always want guys to come up clutch,” Jefferis said. “We always want to score runs, but it doesn’t always happen. Luckily today we were able to do something with it and come out with the win.”
It was the Sharks’ first win since July 9, giving the Sharks Head Coach a sense of relief walking away from the ballpark.
“It’s nice to win,” Brown said. “We haven’t really put it together, with the pitching, defense, and hitting. Today we did, and got the timely hitting when we needed it. It’s just nice to win again.”