SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - As the sky became darker and the wind became stronger Thursday night, Jefferson pitcher Justin Carey became better.
Carey gave up four runs on six hits over the first three innings, but gained command and retired 12 of the last 15 batters he faced to help the No. 3 Cougars to a 7-5 victory over No. 5 Mercersburg Academy.
"Nothing changed. My arm just got stronger and stronger," said Carey.
Two of those three Blue Storm batters who reached base did so on errors as Carey (2-1) allowed only one hit over the final four innings. The hit was a two-out single to left by Josh Davis that scored an unearned run and pulled Mercersburg to within two runs in the seventh. Carey closed the door on any potential Blue Storm rally by fanning clean-up hitter Josh Edgin on three called strikes.
"Having Justin pitch in that situation will help him immensely," said Jefferson coach John Lowery. "He had to pitch to the tying run and the clean-up hitter and he made some quality pitches.