STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Jackson-Milton Blue Jays overcame a 5-0 deficit to capture an 8-6 victory over the Lowellville Rockets Saturday afternoon at Cene Park.  The win improves the Blue Jays to 7-2 overall, 6-1 in the MVAC.  The Rockets fall to 2-5, 0-5 in the league.

“We’re just happy to be playing.  We have nine league games coming up in seven days.  We just want to be playing,” Blue Jays coach Matt Ruby said.

The Rockets would score two runs in the first inning and three more in the second to stake them to a 5-0 advantage.  Following a double by Kevin Johnson and Tino Rivera-Ocasio being hit by a pitch, Johnson scored the first run of the game on a Blue Jays error while Rivera-Ocasio came home on an RBI groundout by Ricky Palumbo.

They added three more in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Johnson, followed by a wild pitch allowing Cody Nolfi to score, and Justin Beeson coming home on an RBI groundout by Rivera-Ocasio.  The Rockets scored their five runs on just three hits.

The Blue jays would get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when Aaren Romigh lead off the frame with a single, followed by an RBI single Aiden Pugh, two batters later.

But the whole momentum of the game shifted in the top of the third inning when the Jays came up with a big stop.  The Rockets had loaded the bases with two outs and their lead-off hitter Beeson at the plate.  The Jays’ ace pitcher Billy Sloan came into the game in relief of his freshman brother Drew and got Beeson to line out to center to get out of the inning.

“I have been in that position before, bases loaded and you have to get an out.  Just stay composed, and throw strikes is all you have to do,” Billy Sloan described the situation.  “That was important because it is a league game and you have to get a win.  It shows that we can battle back no matter how much we are down.”

“He roped one to center and the center fielder made a great play on it,” Rockets coach Dan Dougherty add.  “After that, it did seem that our bats kind of died off a little bit.  It was reflected over the rest of the game.”

The Blue Jays then plated two runs in the bottom of the third thanks to a one-out single by Logan Sokol, followed by an RBI double by Billy Sloan.  Sloan would then race home on an error to make it 5-3 in favor of the Rockets.

They would eventually take the lead with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, chasing the Rockets’ starting pitcher Brady Bunofsky.  Two straight hit batters followed by an RBI single by Billy Sloan and a two-RBI double by Pugh to right field gave the Blue Jays a 6-5 advantage.

But the Rockets answered with a comeback of their own in the top of the sixth.  Ryan Neider drew a leadoff walk and came home on an RBI groundout by Beeson to tie the game at 6-6.

The Blue Jays worked some two-out magic in the bottom of the sixth as Billy Sloan reached on an error by the Rockets followed by an RBI double by Romigh down the left-field line.  Pugh followed with an RBI single to center to chase Romigh home and made it 8-6.

“Obviously Aaren is our clean-up hitter and Billy is our three-hitter, they are by far the best two bats we have power-wise,” Ruby stated.  “We have a number of guys that put the bat on the ball, but they know when there is a runner on base that they have to produce.  They do a great job at it.”

Romigh picked up the victor for the Blue jays in relief while also collecting two hits and the game-winning RBI.  Pugh would go three for four in the game with four RBIs.  Billy Sloan would pitch two hitless innings and collect two hits and two RBIs.

The Rockets Justin Beeson would suffer the loss in relief of Bunofsky.  He would have one of the Rockets’ three hits in the game.  Kevin Johnson would have a hit and an RBI, while Liam Bartlet had the other Rocket base knock.  Rivera-Ocasio and Palumbo had one RBI apiece.

“I think we are improving,” Dougherty remarked.  “We play a lot of young guys so we try to keep everything in perspective.  At the same time with how quickly the season goes, a game like this is one you hate to see it slip away.”

The Blue Jays host the Mineral Ridge Rams Monday in their next contest.  The Rockets look to bounce back when they host Waterloo Monday at Cene.