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No surprises in opening games of 1A sectional

No surprises in opening games of 1A sectional
No surprises in opening games of 1A sectional
Lanesville's baseball team swarms freshman Kenton Acton (23), who belted a solo home run in the third inning of Monday's opening game of the Class 1A Lanesville Sectional. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

The favorites were true to form in Monday’s opening round of the Class 1A baseball sectional at Lanesville.
In the opener, the host Eagles rallied from a two-run deficit in the first inning to bomb Restoration Christian, 11-2; South Central waltzed past New Washington in Game Two, 9-2; and Henryville was taken to extra innings by Borden before emerging with an 11-5 victory in the nightcap.
Sectional play resumes tomorrow (Thursday) at 4 p.m. as Christian Academy takes on Lanesville, and South Central faces tourney favorite Henryville at approximately 6.
Lanesville 11, Restoration Christian 2
The two starting pitchers also provided offense in the opening game of the sectional.
Restoration Christian posted two runs in its half of the first inning on a two-run round-tripper by sophomore Joseph Garuccio.
Lanesville (8-16) got one of the scores back in the bottom half as Aaron McKim walked, stole second and came in on a throwing error.
After holding the Lions scoreless in the second inning, Lanesville twirler Kenton Acton doubled and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Lewis. Collin McCulloch singled in Acton to knot the affair at 2-2.
Back-to-back errors by Restoration Christian (0-13), and a triple followed by an error, brought in two more runs for the Eagles.
In the bottom of the third, Acton pounded a solo shot over the left field fence. Lewis had a ground-rule double and was brought in on a single by McCulloch.
For good measure, Lanesville posted four more runs in its half of the fifth: McCulloch, Michael Minten, McKim and Seth Jacobs all scored in the inning, with Matthew Beckman marking the final RBI.
‘We’ve had problems focusing on the game this season. We hadn’t had a run-rule win this season, and we wanted to hopefully come out and make a statement that maybe we’ve got our stuff together,’ Lanesville coach Sean Smith said.
Acton, a freshman, allowed only three hits, all of them coming in the opening inning. After the first frame, Acton did not allow another base hit.
‘I think part of that was nerves on his part,’ Smith said. ‘This was the first time he’s pitched in a sectional game, and I’m sure that was part of it. I think after he got that double in the second inning, it helped him settle down.
‘And we’ve had problems fielding and making some errors the last couple of weeks, so when the guys behind him were making the plays, that settled him down, too.’
McKim reached safely four times, McCulloch got on three times, and Beckman reached base three times and had six put-outs from the shortstop position (including one dazzling, over-the-shoulder catch in shallow left-center).
‘He took it upon himself to improve at his position. He can play, and I think he showed what he’s capable of today,’ Smith said. ‘I think the entire team did today what I’ve told them they can do. They made plays.’
South Central 9, New Wash. 2
Brothers Nick and Greg Gehlbach combined for a five-hitter as South Central advanced in the sectional with a 9-2 victory.
The Rebels led from gate-to-wire and scored in all but one inning.
‘Hopefully, we can score that many against Henryville,’ South Central coach Dr. Richard Brown said with a small chuckle. ‘We certainly didn’t show them our best game when we played earlier. We’ll have to play extra good and hope Chad (McRae) comes out with a good game if we hope to have a shot.’
After a one-out walk was issued to Dustin Hornickel, McRae hit a run-scoring double and was followed by a RBI single by Nick Gehlbach for a 2-0 lead.
New Washington cut the deficit to one in the top of the third, but South put up two more runs in its half of the inning for the eventual game-winning scores.
Hornickel was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by McRae. After the duo pulled off a double-steal, Darrin Pellman marked Hornickel with a sacrifice fly to right. McRae later scored on a wild pitch.
Greg Gehlbach and Jimmy Jamison both came across in the fourth, Pellman scored in the fifth, and Cody Simpson and Jamison scored in the sixth.
Greg Gehlbach had a two-RBI double in the fifth inning and Pellman had a two-RBI single in the sixth.
New Washington (5-21) stranded 10 base runners in the game.
Coach Brown said his club has been working on deficiencies his club showed in its twin-bill humbling to Henryville a couple of weeks ago.
‘We saw some things, some simple things, that we did in that game that really hurt us,’ said Brown. ‘It’s mainly things like communication and working on pop-ups and things like that. Henryville is still pretty strong, and we know they are going to be ready, too.’