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Winning one for George Baker: Jays roll over Tigers in semifinals

The Jefferson City Jays rolled to a 10-0 win over Smith-Cotton in district play Monday. (Rod Smith/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY --- Monday was a sad day for baseball fans in Central Missouri, as we said good-bye to one of the long-time fixtures of both the game and our young men.

The Jefferson City Jays did their part to make the sad day just a little better.

Grant Wood tossed a two-hitter and Brandon Williams collected two hits and three RBI as the Jays rolled over the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers 10-0 in five innings in the semifinals of the Class 5 District 9 Tournament on Monday at Vivion Field.

The effort would have made George Baker proud. Baker, a charismatic baseball presence on the Jefferson City scene for more than four decades, died Thursday after a battle with cancer.

He was 71.

"Anytime you can win games in support of a Jefferson City baseball guy like George Baker, we want to try and do it," Jays coach Brian Ash said. "His impact goes way back, decades.

"I'll always remember him parking out there (on the hill behind center field) ... just seeing him out there watching the games, that was his little area to watch baseball. He loved it ... and he was still there the first of part of this season."

George knew more about the game than Abner Doubleday. His impact was especially significan with the American Legion Post 5 baseball teams --- as a coach, a manager, a teacher of the game, a huge financial booster ... and as an influential friend to every one of the hundreds and hundreds of players he came in contact with through the years.

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