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Jayhawks start week in 4th place

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4:06 p.m.
Kelly Vernon | Trib Total Media
Zack Altieri bunts against Southmoreland.
Kelly Vernon | Trib Total Media
Bob Horn runs for a base in a game this season.
Kelly Vernon | Trib Total Media
Jeannette Jayhawk senior Garett Elliott pitches in an away game at Southmoreland High School.

Can't blame Jeannette baseball head coach Marcus Clarkson for being nervous the past two weeks as his team went from a solid 4-0 and on top of the WPIAL Section 4-AA standings to 5-3 and on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

What Jeannette and Clarkson really needed was exactly what they got in last week's action — two section wins, a confidence boost and a realistic shot at reclaiming a spot in the playoffs.

“Our section has been beating each other up,” said Clarkson. “We are one game out of a playoff spot but also one or two games away from falling back.”

Jeannette has an important week of section games this week, Steel Valley and Shady Side Academy early in the week, and at East Allegheny tomorrow for a game that could impact the playoff picture as much as any other Jeannette will play this season.

The Jayhawks put themselves back into the postseason race by taking care of business against two of the weaker Section 4-AA team, Southmoreland and South Allegheny.

The Jayhawks lost a non-conference game last Tuesday against Riverview, one of the best teams in Class-A.

Jeannette got a solid pitching outing from their mound ace, senior Garett Elliott, and finally got timely hitting to knock off Southmoreland last Monday 10-3.

“Garett was very good on the hill and at the plate,” said Clarkson. “He gave us a tremendous effort when we really needed one.”

Sophomore Tony Mash held South Allegheny to one hit and one run over four innings last Friday as Jeannette dominated to win 16-1.

Jeannette will turn to Elliott again early in the week in games that they know they must win, but Clarkson can go to Mash, senior Jordan Edmunds who gave the Jayhawks three strong innings in the Riverview loss, and sophomore Terell Canady.

“We have to take it one game at a time,” said Clarkson. “We have a good opportunity to win these games and get into the playoffs.”

WPIAL Section 4-AA:

Steel Valley (7-2) (8-4)

Shady Side Academy (6-2) (9-4)

Greensburg Central Catholic (6-3) (7-4)

Jeannette (5-3) (6-4)

East Allegheny (3-5) (4-9)

Southmoreland (2-7) (5-9)

South Allegheny (1-8) (3-10)

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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