April 14, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

INA - John A. Logan College pitcher Matthias Dietz tossed his third consecutive complete-game shutout Thursday, blanking host Rend Lake, 3-0, in the opening game of a three-game series.

The sophomore righthander allowed five hits in nine innings of work - all singles - and struck out eight, while walking one. He is now 9-1 on the spring and leads the nation in wins.

No Warriors' runner advanced beyond second base. Dietz retired 15 consecutive batters at one stretch.

"If you don't get to him in the first couple of innings, you're going to have a heck of a time getting runs off him," said Vols head coach Jerry Halstead. "Matthias was outstanding again today. He threw 110 pitches and it was just so effortless. At 6-foot-6, 230, he can easily go 120-125 pitches. Today, he didn't need to."

After being held scoreless through the first three innings by Rend Lake ace, T.J. Satterly (seven innings, two runs, five hits, two strikeouts, two walks, and two hit batsmen), the Vols finally got on the scoreboard.

With two outs, Tyler Horchem reached on an error. He came around to score on an RBI single from Jeff Hahs. 

The Vols extended the lead to 2-0 in the fifth as Colin Butkiewicz walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a single from Lucas Larson, and scored on a sac fly by Logan Kaletha. 

A third and final run was tacked on in the ninth when Hahs doubled and scored on Larson's infield RBI single.

Kaletha, Larson and Hahs all connected for two hits to pace Logan. Tyler Robertson and Cody Birdsong added one hit apiece.

"Getting that first win really opens up the series for us," Kaletha said. "Now, we have to take care of business at home on Saturday."

Kaletha, the team's centerfielder and leadoff batter, said the Vols are playing well and are finally receiving national attention, but that there's a lot of season left.

"We can't afford to get the big head about that recognition. It's nice and all, but we have to keep pushing to get better," he said. 

With the win, Logan improves to 18-1 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and is now 32-6 overall. The Vols have won 12 straight and will host a doubleheader with Rend Lake at noon on Saturday.

Rend Lake falls to 10-9 in the league and to 24-18 overall.