March 6, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - Power mixed with solid pitching resulted in a pair of wins Saturday afternoon for the John A. Logan College baseball team against visiting Triton College, 8-3 in the opener and 7-0 in the finale. 

Freshman catcher Marshall Gilbert slugged a home run in each game of the double-header to lead the offensive surge. Sophomore third baseman Dougie Parks tripled, doubled twice, and added two singles to boost his team-leading batting average to .478.

The pitching was also stellar. Sophomore righthanders Matthias Dietz (3-1) and Bobby Pennington (1-0), who head up the Vols' starting rotation, picked up wins. 

Dietz gave up three runs on five hits, while striking out 11 and walked only one. Pennington hurled seven shutout frames on two hits. He fanned nine and walked none, but did hit two batters.

Logan head coach Jerry Halstead said Dietz had a rare slow start in giving up the two first-inning runs in Game 1. 

"We haven't really seen that from him this spring, but from the second inning on, he got his act together and did a pretty good job on the mound," Halstead said. "Offensively, we got three runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead and then put up five more runs in the bottom of the sixth. I'd like to see the runs a little more spread out, but I'll take it."

Parks finished 3-of-4 with a triple and two RBIs in the opener. Gilbert was 2-for-4 with the homer. Sophomore Aaron Fuller doubled. Tyler Robertson, Tyler Horchem, and Jeff Hahs all singled.

In Game 2, freshman designated hitter Ben Smith doubled and singled twice to pace the hitting attack in support of Pennington. Parks doubled twice and drove in a pair. Gilbert blasted a solo homer, his third dinger of the season. Fuller, Robertson, and Hahs all singled.

"I thought Bobby did a great job in holding Triton to only two hits, especially with the wind blowing out so hard to left," Halstead said. "He had not been real sharp before today, but we worked on some mechanical things (with his delivery) and I thought he was very sharp today."

Pennington was relieved to see better results.

"I was just trying to go out there and throw some strikes," he said. "I needed this one. It felt very good. It builds confidence. My fastball was locating well today. I can't wait for the conference season to start."

The 10-3 Vols will host another double-header with Triton today at noon.