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SJCS Baseball Team Opens Upper State On the Road

The SJCS baseball team will hit the road Thursday, making the 170-mile trek to Chesterfield. But it's a trip the Knights earned.

St. Joe's came from behind three times Monday, and when the Knights finally took the lead, they held onto it. The result was a 6-4 victory over visiting Ninety Six and the Class 2A District 3 championship.

Next, the Knights will play on the road against District 4 champion Chesterfield at 6:00 PM Thursday in the first round of the Upper State tournament. The winner will host the winner of the other Upper State game, Abbeville at Gray Collegiate Academy, on Saturday.

St. Joe's is one of four teams left in the Upper State and one of eight still in the hunt for the Class 2A state championship.

Against Ninety Six, freshman left-hander J.P. Rambo battled through 4 2/3 innings, keeping the Knights within striking distance. With the Wildcats leading 4-3, the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth, sophomore right-hander Johnny Jaraczewski relieved Rambo and got the next batter to pop out.

The Knights tied the score in the bottom of the inning. Jack Murphy hit a triple that nearly cleared the fence in dead center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cannon Jackson.

After Jaraczewski retired Ninety Six in order in the top of the sixth, St. Joe's took the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Brady Ferguson led of with a double, moved to third on a single by K.J. Haynes and scored on a single by Brayden Renfrow. Haynes tagged up and scored on Trey Sanders' pop fly that was caught down the right-field line in foul territory by the first baseman.

In the seventh, after the first two batters were retired, Ninety Six loaded the bases, but Jaraczewski punched out the next hitter, sealing the championship.

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. In the bottom of the first, Renfrow led off with a double. Sanders struck out but reached on a wild pitch and then stole second. Both runners scored on a single by Murphy.

Ninety Six scored a run in the second, and St. Joe's tied the score in the third. Murphy singled and went to second on an error. He moved to third on Jackson's single and scored on a wild pitch.

The Wildcats took the lead again in the fourth, but the Knights rallied to tie the score in the fifth and never trailed again.

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