JACKSON – The Jackson Ironmen picked up a 7-3 victory and completed their season series against Hillsboro in a Frontier Athletic Conference baseball game on Wednesday at Dick “Sparky” Haller Field.

The Ironmen rode stellar pitching and a superb offensive performance to earn the season sweep of the Indians.

Jackson has now won three straight games and sits atop the FAC standings in a tie with Miami Trace. The Ironmen are now 14-2 on the season and 7-1 in the conference.

“I thought we played very well tonight,” said Jackson head coach Josh McGraw. “I was worried about the start after they informed us at school that we were going to start early with the rain coming. We got the kids out of school about 10-minutes early, and they got here about 3 p.m. Then Hillsboro didn’t show up until 5 p.m.

“In the first inning, we didn’t look too good on defense, but we got out of it, and we hit the ball really well. I don’t think I have been more proud of a win than I was of this one.”

Drew Bragg got the call for the start and worked 4.2 innings of three-hit baseball. Bragg allowed three runs, one earned while striking out five, and walking three to earn the win.

Freshmen Cade Wolford followed Bragg and closed out the game with 2.1 perfect innings to earn the save. Wolford allowed one hit and fanned four Hillsboro batters.

“We went longer with Drew than I wanted to,” McGraw said. “He was up around 90-plus pitches. I will admit, I was worried when we brought in Cade, who has been ill and was only in school for half a day today. But when he got his first strikeout, I knew we were in good shape. He was throwing gas today.

“A lot of people don’t know who Cade Wolford the pitcher is, but they are going to find out during the next three years. He is a special talent. He is our number-four pitcher, but he would be a No. 1 pitcher for many teams. We have no issues going to him.”

Not only did Wolford get it done on the mound, but he also crushed a double into centerfield in the bottom of the fifth inning for Jackson.

The Ironmen had 10-hits and drew two walks en route to their seven-run performance.

They scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead, as Holden Blankenship led off the inning with a single and later scored from second after Bragg’s two-out double into left. Then a single by Caeleb McGraw scored Bragg.

Jackson expanded on its lead in the bottom of the second, as Isaac Kuhn’s two-run double, an RBI sacrifice fly by Ty Broermann, and an RBI single by Bragg highlighted a four-run inning for a 6-1 advantage.

Hillsboro got two runs back in the top of the third when Zach Humphries reached on an error to score Ryan Scott, who led off the inning with a double. Then Spencer Wyckoff lined a single into centerfield to plate Humphries to cut the lead to 6-3.

The Ironmen survived an anxious moment in the fifth when Hillsboro loaded the bases. Scott reached on a fielding error, while Humphries singled and Hunter Green walked. However, Scott and Humphries were both caught stealing home, and Wyckoff followed with a walk. Bragg worked his way out of the jam, though, when he got Coltin Hunter to whiff on three straight pitches as the Jackson fans erupted in jubilation.

“There is a certain way we teach to get after a wild pitch, and Caeleb (McGraw) made that play twice in a row. Those were two big-time plays,” said McGraw. “Those two plays changed the game. If we go into it with nobody out and up by one, and then they have a guy on third base, it becomes a whole new ballgame.

“Those plays were instrumental toward winning the game today.”

Jackson added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Ty Broermann singled to score Nate McManaway, who led off the frame with a double.

Isaac Kuhn, Broermann, and Bragg drove in two runs apiece, while McGraw had one RBI for Jackson.

Tanner Warner, who threw a two-hit gem in a 1-0 loss to the Ironmen last Friday, went one-plus innings for the Indians on Wednesday and was tagged with the loss after yielding four of Jackson’s seven runs. Humphries pitched five innings in relief for Hillsboro and gave up three runs on six hits.

The Ironmen will battle Chillicothe on Friday in the final game of the season series at 5 p.m. at Dick “Sparky” Haller Field.