March 8, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

MARION – Freshman righthander Matthias Dietz worked seven solid innings Sunday, allowing only one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks as John A. Logan College defeated Olney, 7-5, in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference opener for each school.

The victory was Dietz’s first as a collegiate player.

“I just went out there and tried to do the best I could,” Dietz said. “My fastball was working pretty well for me. And as the game went on, my slider started to come around.”

Vols head coach Jerry Halstead was impressed.

“We think he’s going to be a good one, which is why he started this series,” Halstead said. “Matthias had a great outing with a no decision against Southern Union in Alabama and he now has followed that up with a strong showing here today. There’s a reason why the pros were trying to sign him out of high school.”

Offensively, Logan was productive, banging out 13 hits. The Vols were led by sophomore outfielder Kyle Schneider, who finished 3-for-5 with a run batted in from the leadoff spot. Fellow sophomore, Culver Plant, rapped out three hits, as well, including a pair of doubles.

Freshman Kenny King doubled in two runs. Freshman Nate Tholl tripled in a run. Doug Parks tacked on an RBI single as did Austin Rieman. Logan Kaletha, Tyler Horchem and Jacob Carpenter also had base hits.

“I thought we saw the ball well today,” Halstead said of his hitters. “We had some big hits from three or four guys.”

Freshman Bobby Pennington worked the final two innings in relief of Dietz. He retired Olney in order in the eighth, but struggled in the ninth, surrendering four runs on five hits.

“It was great to get outside today,” Halstead said. “Two weeks is a long layoff in between games.”

Now 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the GRAC, Logan will take on the Blue Knights of Olney again today (Monday) in a doubleheader beginning at noon at Itchy Jones Stadium on the SIUC campus.