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SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Jets did their best to let the Lovell Mustangs hang around during both games of last night’s doubleheader at Thorne-Rider Stadium.
As the rain came in spurts and the runs came in bunches, the Jets did just enough to hold off the visiting Mustangs.
After the Jets scored a quick three runs, the Mustangs threatened but failed to score in the first two innings. The Mustangs had runners in scoring position in both innings but left them stranded, keeping the score 3-0 heading into the third inning.
With the help of some Sheridan errors, the Mustangs made sure they left nobody stranded in the top of the third, scoring three and tying the game.
Sheridan promptly responded in the bottom of the inning.
With the bases loaded, Carl Geertz hit a single that scored two for the Jets. A two-RBI double by Jeff Shanor and a RBI single by Dominic Miller put the Jets up 8-3 through three innings.
On an errant throw from first to third, the Jets added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Mustangs weren’t going to go down easy.
Trailing 9-3 at the start of the seventh, an RBI double and a two-RBI triple narrowed the gap to only three runs before a 30-minute lightning delay.
When play resumed, Jets coach Ryan Murner opted for a new pitcher and sent Noah Gustafson and his fresh arm to the mound.
Gustafson gave up another run on an infield single, but bailed himself out by picking off the runner and forcing a groundout to end the ballgame.
The back-and-forth action wasn’t over yet, though.
Once again, the Jets jumped to an early lead in game two, scoring one run in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead going into the third.
Once again, the Mustangs answered — well, with a little help from some Sheridan mistakes.
In the bottom of the third inning, which proved to be Gustafson’s last on the mound, the pitcher began the inning by walking two batters and throwing two wild pitches that led to a run for the Mustangs.
Two RBI doubles put the Mustangs up 3-2 before the Jets finally got out of the inning.
The Mustangs added another run in the top of the fourth before it was the Jets’ turn to return the favor.
A wild series of events led to three runs for Sheridan in the fourth, but could have been even more had Nolan McCafferty not been tagged out in a pickle after trying to stretch a double into a triple.
After McCafferty’s base-running gaffe, two more Jets batters reached base safely before Max Lube stepped to the plate and piped a double to the outfield.
A low throw from the catcher blew through the third baseman’s legs to left field, clearing the bases and scoring two more runs for Sheridan.
As the rain began to trickle down onto Thorne-Rider Stadium, the Mustangs tied the game once more with another run in the fifth inning.
Like they were playing a giant five-hour game of run-scoring ping-pong, the Jets jumped right back ahead of Lovell in the bottom of the inning.
A Shanor double that barely stayed fair did the trick, scoring the go-ahead run before Sheridan added two more to take an 8-5 lead into the sixth.
Before Lovell had an opportunity to respond, the game was called due to lightning, giving the Jets the win in their final regular season game of the year.
The Sheridan Jets will play again on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in the first round of the state tournament at Thorne-Rider Stadium.
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