St. Joe boys clobber Tolsia, 12-3
HUNTINGTON -- When Huntington St. Joe seniors Stephen Jenkins, Michael Mayes and Ian Pletka stepped on the baseball field for the Irish as freshmen, they were revitalizing a Class A program that had been dead for five years.
So it was understandable that Senior Night against Class AA Tolsia, a 12-3 win Wednesday at the YMCA Kennedy Center, was a big deal for the trio, along with other seniors Paul Dransfeld, Lakin Brooks and Mike Derosa.
It was also big for Jenkins' father, David, the head coach of the Irish for the past four years.
"Stephen and Michael had gone through Little League together, and when they got to high school there hadn't been a team for five years, and they wanted to start one up again," David Jenkins said. "I said we'll schedule a few games and see what happens. ... now you hear the kids through the hall at St. Joe and they can't wait until baseball season starts, and that's what is big about it for me."
Stephen Jenkins, who will be attending college on a soccer scholarship and is also on the St. Joe basketball team, said the baseball team has been the most enjoyable experience for him.
"We started out 2-18 our first year, so we had to start having fun while we were losing," he said. "It's an unbelievable experience, every one of these guys on this team I just love because they make the game fun, and it's just more fun to play around those type of guys."
He said it's also been a good experience playing with his dad as coach.
"It can get heated," Stephen Jenkins said. "At the end of the day, he's my dad and he wants what's best for me, and I love him to death because if he hadn't helped coach this team we wouldn't have been able to play."
Mayes said he hopes the seniors have left something of a legacy for the program to build on so it can continue to thrive.
"Hopefully people will want to come to St. Joe to play baseball," Mayes said. "That was the goal when we started this whole thing up."
Mayes played a critical role in Wednesday's win, coming in to pitch with St. Joe trailing 3-0 and the bases loaded.
He struck out the next two batters to finish the inning and held the Rebels scoreless through the next two innings. Jenkins came in to pitch the final two innings and also kept Tolsia off the scoreboard.
In the meantime, the Irish had an offensive outburst in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs on four hits while Tolsia committed four errors. St. Joe struck again in the bottom of the fifth, this time for seven runs on three hits. The key offensive moments included an RBI double from Dransfeld and a two-RBI single from Mayes.
"It was a very important for me and all the seniors to get a win tonight," Mayes said. "It just meant a lot, I can't emphasize that enough."
St. Joe (11-9) will have finished the past two seasons with winning records.
TOLSIA 102 000 0 -- 3 5 9
HUNTINGTON ST. JOE 005 070 x -- 12 8 4
Adkins (2), Mayes (3), Jenkins and Rabel; Fletcher (3), Perry (1), Dean and Dean, Fletcher.
Hitting: (T) Dean 2B, Perry 2B, Fletcher RBI; (SJ) Dransfeld 2-4, 2B, RBI, Mayes 2-3, 2 RBIs, Jenkins 2 RBIs.