Posted on

Crooked numbers sweep Rebels by Hornets in DH

Crooked numbers sweep Rebels by Hornets in DH
Crooked numbers sweep Rebels by Hornets in DH
South Central's Jack Turner turns on a pitch, driving it well over the left-field fence at Henryville Saturday. The homer was part of a three RBI day for Turner. Photo by Brian Smith

Class A No. 8 South Central closed the book on the regular season schedule with a two-game sweep at Henryville on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
In the Southern Athletic Conference game, South Central’s bats were alive and well to the tune of 16 hits. Those hits, along with late errors by the host Hornets, led to a 12-1 South Central victory.
Austin Knear had a four-hit day for South Central, including a double and a triple. Jack Turner, Nathan Shaffer, Logan May and Joe Logsdon had two hits each.
It was a home run for both teams midway through the game that seemed to slide the advantage to South Central.
With a 2-0 lead, Shaffer gave up a solo shot to Dylan Cissell. After giving up the dinger, Shaffer retired the next seven batters consecutively.
A few innings later, South Central’s sticks exploded for three runs in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. Fundamental hitting after a single by Knear to start set up the first run. Parker Gabhart grounded out to advance Knear to third after he swiped second. Next up, Alex Goforth lifted a sac-fly RBI to right center.
With the bases cleared, South Central’s home run came off the bat of Jack Turner. The left-handed hitter pulled a shot down the left-field line and into the tall trees beyond the fence.
Logsdon would add the third RBI of the frame with a single.
McKnight said he liked how his team scored runs in different innings. In the first, Knear plated Cory Ray with a single; then, in the third, Goforth brought around Gabhart with a single.
‘One run here, one run there, pick up three in another inning … That is how I like to score. It’s better than just all in one inning,’ McKnight said.
Additional run support came in for Shaffer in the sixth.
Knear sprinted around the bases for a triple after hitting a shot off the top of the center-field fence. Turner brought home a run with a single, then Logan May delivered a run-scoring double. The hits, along with two Henryville errors, launched the Rebels ahead 9-1.
The lone bit of trouble outside of the homer given up for Shaffer came in the second inning. A pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Hornets. Getting out of the inconvenience, Shaffer struck out Elijah Weeks with a curve ball to retire the side.
‘Once he settled down, he threw great,’ McKnight said. ‘He had one inning he had to battle through, but, after that, he threw a lot of strikes. He kept the ball down and got us a lot of ground balls.’
Henryville put two runners on in the sixth inning, but Shaffer struck out three to leave them on bags.
More manufactured runs came in for South Central in the seventh when Turner was credited with an RBI on a sac fly. Knear led off with a double, then Gabhart and Goforth reached on infield errors.
May closed the book on the scoring with an RBI single.
‘We were more patient and waited for the ball to get there,’ McKnight said. ‘When we wait, we hit the ball well. It’s when we get impatient, we struggle.’
Cody McAfee started the game for Henryville on the bump and was credited for the loss. He was pulled after five innings.
In game two, South Central went on to win handily 7-3. Nick Veith earned the win, striking out 15 to improve the Rebels’ record to 17-8.
Borden and South Central split a double header during the regular season with the Braves taking the SAC match-up 7-6. Completing a 5-0 season in league play, Borden won the title. The two rivals will meet again tomorrow (Thursday) in the first round of the Class A South Central Sectional at 6 p.m.
‘We have several days to rest for Thursday, so everyone will be fresh and ready to go,’ McKnight said. ‘It’s always a battle with Borden. It’s two evenly matched teams that always go at each other. It’ll be a good ballgame.’