February 21, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

WADLEY, ALA. - The  John A. Logan College baseball team kicked off the spring season with a two-game split Friday at the Southern Union State Invitational Tournament in Wadley, Ala.

The Vols won the early game, slipping past the host school, 4-3.

Freshman Matthias Dietz started on the mound and worked seven innings, striking out seven against only two walks. He allowed seven hits and left the game with Logan on top 3-1.

Sophomore righthander Kyle Schneider relieved in the eighth and struggled, hitting a man and walking another.

Freshman Bobby Pennington relieved Schneider and worked out of the frame, but not before surrendering the tying runs on a based-loaded walk and groundout.

The Vols reclaimed the lead in the top of the ninth when second baseman Nate Tholl stroked a one-out single, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on an RBI double by catcher Austin Reiman.

Pennington then shut down Southern Union 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the ninth. He was credited with the win.

Collecting hits for Logan were: Logan Kaletha, Jeff Hahs, Tholl, Reiman, Tyler Horchem and Kenny King.

In fact, King, the team's designated hitter, had a solo homer. Hahs sprained his ankle after doubling and his return to the lineup is questionable for the remainder of the weekend.

"I thought Dietz was oustanding today," said Vols head coach Jerry Halstead. "He showed good command of his pitches, especially considering it was hit first collegiate appearance."

Later Friday, the Vols fell to Dyersburg State, Tenn. 5-1.

Picking up the loss was sophomore starter Joey Marciano. He allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings on six hits. He sruck out six and walked one. Sophomore Jake Herron relieved, worked one inning and gave up three runs on three hits.

Logan only accounted for two hits in the nightcap. Third baseman Doug Parks and Tholl each singled.
"We did a lot of nice things today, but mostly in the first game," Halstead said. "While our freshman pitchers were good, our sophomores were not today."

Logan started seven freshmen, not counting pitchers.

"The weather today was brutal," Halstead said. "The temperature was in the low 30s and it was spitting snow. But, we were outside and competing, so that's a good thing. It's supposed to be in the 60s Saturday."

The Vols take on nationally-ranked Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina) at 2 p.m. today.