Gage Jump overcomes early struggles, JSerra’s bats come alive in 11-7 Southern Section semifinal win over Ayala

CHINO HILLS, Calif. — After giving up one earned run all season, JSerra pitcher Gage Jump was rocked for four runs in the first inning of Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinal baseball showdown against Ayala.

“I didn’t expect that,” Jump said.

Jacob Badawi started the big Ayala first frame with a double and then Ty Borgogno drove him in with a single. After that, Ethan Nunez hit a two-RBI single and Jump balked to bring in the fourth run. The first five Ayala batters reached base safely in the game.

But Jump didn’t quit.

He eventually struck out the side in the first after giving up the four runs. From there, he settled down to throw four consecutive scoreless innings and his Lions team went on to win 11-7 punching their ticket to the Southern Section Division 1 championship game against Harvard-Westlake.

“The most important thing was Gage became Gage and kept them at bay for four more innings which allowed us to chip away at their starter offensively,” JSerra head coach Brett Kay said.

The Lions scored two runs of their own in the top of of the first inning thanks to a two-RBI double from David Horn. In the third inning, JSerra outfielder Luke Jewett hit a two-run home run to tie the game. The game stayed knotted at four until the sixth inning when Owen Fuller hit an RBI double.

In the seventh inning the Lions broke the game open exploding for six runs after Colin Blanchard and Cody Schrier hit home runs.

“You’ve got to let your horses run and our horses went out and ran wild today,” Kay said.

JSerra has never won a Southern Section championship in baseball. They will try for their first on Saturday.

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