The last time Logan Jackson dove for a line drive, he ended up with a torn ligament in his thumb. A similar play Friday afternoon ended much better and put Westside High School into the second round of the Class AAA state baseball playoffs.
Jackson's snare began a double play that squelched Richmond Hill's bases-loaded rally in the fourth inning and highlighted the Patriots' 14-2 victory that completed a two-game sweep of the Wildcats.
"That was the same way I dove for the ball the last time," Jackson said, "except I dropped it. I'm surprised I didn't get hurt."
Jackson's lunging grab saved two runs and protected the Patriots' 6-1 lead - a lead Westside extended with help from its defensive star. The junior shortstop went 2-for-3 and scored four runs in his first start since having surgery to repair his left thumb.
He also blasted his first varsity homer.
Jackson, though, wasn't the only star during Friday's two victories. Senior pitcher-outfielder Austin Ducey gave the Patriots (22-6) a crucial victory in Game 1 by allowing one run in a complete-game four hitter. Ducey also went 2-for-3 in the first game.
Overall, Ducey went 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.
"He's a good player and good players are supposed to play good in big games," said Westside coach Gerald Barnes, whose team will host a second-round series on Wednesday.
The Patriots also got a little help from Richmond Hill (13-15) in Game 1, rallying from a 1-0 deficit with the help of two errors. After an error led to Westside's tying run, the Patriots scored in nine straight innings.
During one stretch, 14 of 27 Westside batters reached safely, a streak that ended the first game and began the second game.
"It's terrible to lose that way," Richmond Hill coach Mitchell Curry said of Game 1. "You lose 2-1 when you feel like you could have won the game. It's hard to come back after that."
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