For the third time in as many years, the George Jenkins baseball team can call themselves District Champions. Jenkins defeated crosstown rival Lakeland High School 5-2 in the District 8A-11 Championship game on Wednesday at Henley Field. Junior Daniel Batcher got the start for the Eagles and mowed through the Dreadnaught hitters for the first 5 innings, scattering only 2 hits and walking none. Batcher ran into some command issues in the 6th inning, but was able to limit the damage to only two runs. Those two runs were the first earned runs Batcher had given up all season in 51 innings pitched. Batcher final line was: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 4 BB. Nick Hain came in to take over for Batcher in the 7th inning to earn the save, his fourth of the season.
Offensively, the Eagles got going immediately. Jackson Ross led off the bottom of the 1st with a double to right center and Matty Warren followed that with a base hit bunt. The Eagles then took advantage of some wildness from Lakeland starter Andres Gonzalez and some sloppy defense to push across 3 runs in the first inning. The Eagles tacked on another run in the second inning when Brandon Howlett drew a two-out walk and then Brady Allen tripled to deep center to bring in Howlett. The Eagles pushed across their 5th and final run in the 5th inning when Allen and Jake Herbert provided back to back two-out doubles. Allen finished the game 2-2 with an RBI triple and a double, while Herbert accounted for 3 RBIs.
Jenkins will now host the Regional Quarterfinal game at John Rodda Field on Tuesday against the loser of the Wellington-Seminole Ridge District 8A-12 Championship. Lakeland will travel down south to take on the winner.