One big hit, solid pitching leads Simmons to victory

When you get a really good pitching performance sometimes all you need is just one good hit to win a baseball game.

Well, Simmons’ Jaylon Jackson provided that big hit to help out his pitcher Nick Hefley in his team’s 3-1 win over Gwatney Chevrolet on Tuesday night at Taylor Field.

Jackson drove in all of Simmons’ runs on his double to left centerfield (he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple) that cleared the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Walks to three of the first four Simmons batters in the fifth set up Jackson for his big hit.

“We’d been struggling with the curveball all night,” Simmons coach Dennis Dardenne said. “So, I just told them to wait on the fastball that you can hit.”

Jackson’s hit provided plenty of cushion for Hefley, who had a no-hitter through 5 and two-thirds innings.

“He’s been wonderful all year,” Dardenne said. “His shoulder’s been bothering him a little bit, but tonight he said he felt good.”

Hefley did get into some trouble in the seventh inning.

He hit a batter to lead off the inning, and after a strikeout gave up back-to-back singles. The second single scored Gwatney’s lone run of the game.

With runners at first and third and just one out, Hefley induced a 3-6-3 double play ball to end the game.

“I told (Hefley) he had it,” Dardenne said about the final inning. “I have confidence in him and I have confidence in our defense.”

Hefley finished his complete-game effort with six strikeouts. He gave up three hits, walked two batters and hit another, but gave up just the one earned run.

Justin Dardenne led Simmons going 2 for 2 with a double, single and two walks, while Jackson finished the game 1 for 2 with a walk and three RBIs.