April 16, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College baseball team took a 3-0 lead after four innings, but couldn’t hold off a hard-charging Rend Lake Warriors squad Thursday, falling 4-3 in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play.

With the Volunteers holding a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, starting pitcher Ryan Dunne ran into problems. He first walked the leadoff hitter, Aiden McMahan, and then had an opportunity to redeem himself when Luke McConnell bunted a one-hopper back to the mound for what could have been a rally-killing double play.

Unfortunately for Logan, Dunne’s throw to second base to get the lead runner sailed high over the shortstop’s head and into center field.

Matthias Dietz relieved Dunne. After a sacrifice bunt by Landon Thomas advanced the runners to second and third, Dietz walked Paul Knapp on four pitches to load the bases.

Levi Tanner then hit a high hopper up the middle, which Dietz leapt to grab, bobbled it, and threw home too late for the force out, allowing the tying run to score. The Warriors then scored the winning run on a groundout to third off the bat of Brodie Brown.

The Vols could only muster one baserunner over the final two innings against three Rend Lake relievers (Dylan Dunn, Nate Higgins and Derek Flaugher).

Logan drew first blood in the first inning when Nate Tholl doubled and scored on an RBI single from Jeff Hahs. The Vols made it 3-0 in the fourth as Jake Carpenter reached on an infield single, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from Tyler Horchem. Taking second on the throw home, Horchem next scored on an RBI single from Austin Rieman.

Warriors’ starting pitcher, Justin Hayden, who got the win, managed to keep Logan off the scoreboard the next three innings, or until his bullpen could finish off the game.

Hahs and Horchem each had two hits to pace the Vols’ offense. Hahs also shined defensively, making a spectacular diving catch in foul ground in right field, and then later threw a Rend Lake runner, Kyle Goodman, out at the plate.

Vols head coach Jerry Halstead was frustrated with the loss.

“We couldn’t build on our lead. We put a bunch of zeroes up there after the fourth inning,” he said. “We had some opportunities, but it’s tough to win when two guys are carrying most of the offensive load.”

Halstead said the inability to complete a double play in the sixth inning; the throwing error by Dunne; and the late throw home by Dietz after the bobble was more than the Vols could overcome.

“Simple fundamental things that we’ve done a hundred times,” he said. “So, it’s kind of disappointing because we’re playing for a chance to host the first round of the Region 24 tournament in a couple of weeks and this is the kind of effort that we get.”

Logan falls to 11-8 in the league and 16-14 overall. Rend Lake improves to 12-7, 16-16. The same two teams square off for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. today (Friday) in Ina.

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.