JERSEYVILLE — After just two weeks, Twin City coach Dave Ufert is glad that Granite City’s Trent Jones is a member of the squad.
“He has done a really good job for us,” Ufert said. “He comes in and throws strikes and he tends to keep the ball down.”
Jones picked up his first save of the season in Twin City’s 7-5 win over Jerseyville Post 492. After sitting on the bench for most of the game, Jones came in relief for Spencer Heinemann in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a run on two hits.
“I’m itching to go in all of the time,” Jones said. “I was definitely ready for my name to be called.”
With Jerseyville having a runner on second and two outs in the seventh, Jones got Daniel Williams to ground out for the final out of the game.
“Jerseyville had the top of the order coming up to start that inning and he came in and shut them down,” Ufert said.
Twin City improved to 7-1-1 and won its third straight game. South Roxana Post 1167 will be back in
action this weekend, when it plays in the Greater Midwest Baseball Regional championship tournament at Bridgeton, Mo.
“All of our pitchers will be resting,” Ufert said. “We should have everybody there. We should be ready to go. Hopefully, it turns out well. I think we’ll be OK.”
On Tuesday, Twin City stormed to a 5-0 lead after the top of the fourth and never looked back. Post 1167 scored a run in the first, a run in the third, three in fourth, one in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Jerseyville scored three runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Ufert said he was pleased with his team’s effort despite being shorthanded. Twin City had just 10 players in Tuesday’s game.
“Everybody on the team is capable of playing,” Ufert said. “We’re confident of putting any of our kids on our roster out there. We were a little shorthanded today, but the kids we put in there stepped up and played well today. Jerseyville is a pretty good club out there.”
Blake Marks went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. He gave Twin City a 1-0 lead with a one-out RBI double that scored Blake Vandiver in the top of the first.
He increased the lead to 2-0 after scoring on an RBI single by Zack Seymour with two outs in the third. With one out in the fourth, Marks delivered a two-run single to boost the lead to 4-0.
Blake Vandiver gave Twin City a 5-0 lead after scoring on an errant throw by Jerseyville catcher Colin Carney in the fourth.
Seymour scored on a double steal with one out in the fifth to give Post 1167 a 6-3 lead. Marks scored on a ground out by Spencer Heinemann in the sixth to increase the lead to 7-3.
Tanner Davis got the win on the mound. He gave up three runs on four hits and struck out four in three and one-third innings of work. Davis was relieved by Heinemann with one out in the fourth.
“His back tightened up on him a little bit and he got a little bit out of whack,” Ufert said. “That’s why we wanted to get him out of there. He’s one of our main pitchers and there’s no reason to have him out there struggling like he was.”
Jones said he was thrilled to get his first save of the season.
“I had a chance earlier on in the year against Greenville the first time I played with them, but I didn’t quite get it,” said Jones, who plans to attend Southwestern Illinois College next year. “I’m happy I made up for it.”
Last summer, Jones played with the Granite City Warriors St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association team. He was one of three Granite City representatives in the SLABA All-Star Game.
This summer, Jones decided to play for another summer team.
“It started when my dad (Ron) wanted me to play more baseball in the summer, so I looked around the legion and I called the Edwardsville coach and he directed me to Ufert,” Jones said. “My dad did a lot of talking with guys he knew at work and I got Ufert’s number and I got a tryout and I made it.”
Jones is playing on a Twin City team that is comprised of players from Roxana, East Alton-Wood River and Piasa Southwestern. He’s the only Granite City player on the roster.
Jones said he’s happy that he’s playing for a successful program. Twin City won 115 games in the last four seasons.
“I love playing with them,” Jones said. “They’re a great group of guys and they’re good to be around. They pick you up when you mess up and they cheer for you when you do good.”