On Monday, April 24, St. Joe honored the four seniors on the baseball team before shutting out Wewahitchka 12-0 in five innings.
The “senior night” ceremony honored Jordan Olson, Jabara Pearson, CJ Thompson, and Jack Trochessett, with the Sharks quickly putting the contest at rest with a 10-run first inning outburst.
Pearson got the fireworks started with his fifth home run of the season, and third in four games, on a 3-1 count. The ball hit the top of the left field fence before bouncing over.
St. Joe sent 13 more batters to the plate before the first inning ended. Five walks, a hit batter, three Gator errors, and run-scoring singles by Pearson and Fisher Vandertulip contributed to nine more runs.
In the Wewa second, Gunner Grogan got the only Gator hit of the game, stole second, and went to third on a Shark miscue only to be caught in a rundown between third base and home. This would be the only Gator scoring threat of the game.
Wills Norton started on the mound for St. Joe, and went two innings before yielding to Cullen Partie for the remaining three frames. Coach Bobby Hughes used four different Gator pitchers during the game.
St. Joe scored its final runs of the game in the third inning. Pearson started the inning by taking first base after being hit by a pitch, and Norton followed with a walk.
Both came around to score on Max Godwin’s double to center field. Although they would load the bases, a double play started by JaCorey Williams at third base brought the inning to a close.
For the game, Pearson had a homer and a single, scored three and drove in three. Godwin had a double and a single, scored twice and drove in three runs.
Vandertulip and Thompson had the other St. Joe hits, with Vandertulip scoring once and driving in another.
In addition to Norton’s two runs, Jentzen Odom, Eli Harris, Olson, and Hunter Hicks scored for the Sharks. Olson also drove in a run.
In a “senior night” gesture, St. Joe coach Ashley Summerlin called time out with two outs in the Gator fifth inning so he could allow substitutes to replace his four seniors so they could come off the field to the cheers of the home crowd.
When the game ended, Summerlin had complimentary words for what Hughes has done at Wewa, saying “They’ve got a lot of young kids over there, and they’re getting a lot of experience. I think he is doing a good job.”
Of his own team, Summerlin said “We’re still trying to build to be a complete team, and (even though) we haven’t played our best game yet, we’re moving forward.”
“Our ultimate goal is to play the best ball we can play at the end of the year, and I think we’re moving towards it, (but) today was about our seniors, who have done a heck of a job representing our program. They’ve persevered, and they’ve continued to work. Our program wouldn’t be where it is without those four guys,” he said.
One of “those four guys,” Jabara Pearson, talked about how special the night was for him, saying “I liked what they did for us before the game, and how they recognized us with two outs coming off the field.”
Leading off the game with a home run “was really special to me, and my family was here to see it,” he said.
Both Pearson and Summerlin noted that district play was looming, with Pearson saying that “We’re going to have to focus more.”