February 29, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - Taking advantage of a gale-force wind, the Illinois Central College Cougars pounded five home runs Sunday to squeak past John A. Logan College, 13-12, in a nine-inning game as darkness consumed the field.

The Vols, meanwhile, could only muster one blast - a solo homer off the bat of sophomore shortstop Tyler Robertson in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Picking up the loss for Logan was freshman reliever Josh Scheer. He allowed four runs on four hits in three innings of work, while striking out three. 

Sophomore starter Bobby Pennington had a game he would like to forget, surrendering six runs on five hits in only two innings of work. He gave up three home runs, but did manage to strike out five batters. 

Sophomore Gabe Jelley (Zeigler-Royalton grad), bouncing back from an illness, was fairly effective, giving up three runs on three hits (two homers) in four innings. He fanned six and walked none. 

"We didn't pitch it a lick today," said a frustrated Vols head coach Jerry Halstead. "I was very disappointed in our effort. We continued to leave balls up in the strike zone with the wind blowing out and pitch from behind in the count. Our hitters did enough. Hats off to Illinois Central. They were the better team today. They have a chance to be pretty good."

Robertson, Lucas Larson, Doug Parks, and Logan Kaletha all smacked two hits to pace the Vols. 

Larson drove in two with a double in a four-run third. Kaletha had an RBI single in the second and ground-rule double in the fifth. Robertson had an RBI single in the first and solo homer in the eighth. Parks singled in a run in the sixth.

Cody Birdsong had an RBI double. Colin Butkiewicz and Aaron Fuller also contributed RBI singles.

The Vols (6-3 overall) are scheduled to host a doubleheader with South Suburban College beginning at 11 today. 

"We have to have a short memory and come ready to play tomorrow," Halstead said. "The most important thing is we need to throw strikes."