May 4, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

POPLAR BLUFF, MO. - The John A. Logan College baseball team chalked up another two victories Tuesday afternoon, sweeping host Three Rivers, 14-5 and 12-9, in non-conference play.

Centerfielder Logan Kaletha and shortstop Tyler Robertson paced the Vols' offense in the opener with three hits each, including a home run and four runs batted in.

Aaron Fuller had three hits, as well, with a round tripper and three RBIs. 

Marshall Gilbert went 3-4 with a double and RBI. Doug Parks contributed two hits and two runs scored. Ben Smith added three runs scored.

Winning pitcher was sophomore Aaron Novak. He allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings of work. He also struck out four and walked one. 

Clay Newton worked two innings and gave up two runs on five hits with two strikeouts.

Peyton Cypress tossed one scoreless inning and recorded one strikeout.

In the nightcap, Jeff Hahs and Smith each accounted for four hits for Logan. 

Hahs had a home runs and two RBIs to go along with three runs scored. Smith drove in one and scored two.

Parks chipped in two hits, including a homer, with three RBIs and three runs.

Noah Thornburg started for the Vols, but only lasted two innings and surrendered six runs (five earned) on seven hits. The Carbondale native struck out one and walked one.

Taylor Grider relieved in the third and picked up the win. He went five innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

JALC head coach Jerry Halstead was pleased with the pair of wins.

"We swung it pretty well today up and down the lineup," he said. "And I thought Taylor Grider came in out of the bullpen in Game 2 and threw five solid innings when we were in desperate need of someone to stop the bleeding."

Halstead said that for his ballclub to finish with single-digit losses (nine) in 52 total games is pretty remarkable.

"I think it shows that we found a way to get things done. This club can score runs in bunches and it can beat you with small ball. It's a very well-rounded team."

Halstead said the Vols have been fortunate to stay relatively injury-free this spring and that the weather was good enough to allow the team to get its games in without having to sit more than a couple of days.

Now 43-9, the Vols will host Lake Land Saturday at noon in the opening round of the Region 24 tournament.