April 22, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

HARRISBURG - Matthias Dietz pitched his fifth consecutive complete game and Tyler Horchem drove in four runs as the John A. Logan College baseball team defeated Southeastern Illinois Friday, 9-2.

With the win, the 15th-ranked Volunteers improve to 20-2 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and are now 35-8 overall. 

SIC falls to 5-16 in the league and 16-28 overall.

A sophomore righthander, Dietz was only good and not great on this day. 

The Falcons scored a run off him in the third inning to break a run of 34 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to March 25th in Robinson against Lincoln Trail. 

SIC also scored a run in the fourth against Dietz on a solo homer by Jeremy Gregge to tie the game at 2-2.

That would be all the good news for the Falcons, however.

The Vols bounced back to plate five runs in the top of the sixth inning and two more in the seventh.

In the sixth, Tyler Robertson singled with one out. Jeff Hahs bunted for a single. A passed ball advanced the runners to second and third. Marshall Gilbert was walked intentionally to load the bases. Horchem followed with his second two-run single of the game to make the score 4-2. His first one came in the opening frame.

Doug Parks followed with an RBI single. Colin Butkiewicz added an RBI single. 

In the seventh, Robertson tripled home Logan Kaletha, who had singled. Robertson then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hahs.

Dietz improves to 10-1 with the win. He allowed two runs on eight hits, struck out 13, and walked none. He presently leads the nation in wins and strikeouts per nine innings.

Vols head coach Jerry Halstead was pleased with the win.
"Matthias was Matthias. He pitched another strong game. He ran into a little bit of a problem there in the third and fourth innings, but came back strong the last four or five innings."

Halstead also praised the clutch hitting of his sophomore outfielder, Horchem.

"Tyler came through with some big RBIs for us today. We have been struggling a little bit at the plate in recent games. I think some of the guys have been getting a little pull happy. 

"You can see that the majority of our outs are on the left side of the field," Halstead said. "We need to start going with the pitch a little bit better and use the whole field. Now is the time to play up to our capabilities and start up another long win streak. We need to finish the regular season on a positive note."

Horchem said he's glad he was able to contribute with a pair of big hits.

"It's what the team needed, especially the second time I came up with runners in scoring position," he said. "We have to keep grinding because we have Wabash Valley nipping at our heels in the standings. It's getting toward the end, so we just have to keep playing hard."

Logan will resume the three-game series with Southeastern Illinois with a doubleheader beginning at noon today in Carterville.