Gabhart, SC quickly dispose of Shawe
Rules have been added to Major League Baseball games to speed up play.
One foot must stay in the box during a batter’s at-bat.
Timers put fielders on the clock to get ready between innings quicker.
In the minors, there is a timer on pitchers ensuring they fire the ball to the plate in a timely manner.
If those rules ever trickle down to high school baseball, don’t waste your time telling South Central pitcher Parker Gabhart or his teammates.
Friday night, South Central’s 10-0, five-inning win versus visiting Shawe Memorial lasted all of 63 minutes.
The Class 1A No. 2 Rebels wasted little time getting off the field when playing defense. That was in part to Gabhart’s quick work by pounding the strike zone. He threw 46 pitches in five innings, facing 17 batters.
‘We’ll take that every day,’ South Central coach Brian McKnight said. ‘That’s a great way to play baseball. You go up there, throw strikes, they put the ball in play and you make the plays. It goes quick.’
Three strikeouts filled Gabhart’s stat sheet. He gave up two hits; one was a bunt single.
At the dish, South Central pounded out nine hits, led by three each from Cory Ray and Gabhart.
‘The key was the top of our order getting on base just about every time,’ McKnight said. ‘You get those guys on base and you can do so much. They can run, hit and run or whatever we have to do to move runners. They just hit the ball and relaxed with their approach.’
Ray was on in each of his first three at bats, including leading off the first two innings.
A lead-off single in the first, along with two-hitter Nick Veith getting hit by a pitch, set the table for Gabhart. He brought home one with a single up the middle. Logan May drove in a pair of runs with a double.
To reach a 4-0 lead, Joseph Logsdon beat out an infield single, scoring Jack Turner.
South Central had a few spectacular plays out of Ray at shortstop. In the second, he leaped toward second base to knock down a ball, eventually throwing out Zach Brooks. An inning later, Ray tracked down a foul ball behind third base, nearly sprinting through the chain-link fence.
‘Cory made a few great plays, but we made all the routine plays,’ McKnight said. ‘We didn’t make the game hard on ourselves.’
Ray’s lead-off double set the tone for more South Central runs in the second inning. Alex Goforth scored Ray with an infield ground out. Gabhart hit an RBI single, then May reached on an infield error to plate his pitcher.
South Central reached the 10-run mercy rule in the third inning when another crooked number hit the board.
Three straight reached ‘ Lucas Veith hit by pitch, Ray single and Nick Veith double ‘ to score two runs. The next batter, Goforth, scored two runs on a ground-out to shortstop. Nick Veith aggressively rounded third and scored on the play.
‘We tried that against Tell City last night and it didn’t work,’ McKnight said of scoring from second on a ground-out. ‘The shortstop bobbled the ball, and I figured why not try to be aggressive again.’
The 10-0 win over Shawe Memorial was a bounce-back McKnight wanted after a tight 4-2 loss to Tell City the night before.
‘We played well against Tell City, but Cory had a rough start on the mound and we didn’t pick him up with our bats,’ McKnight said. ‘That’s going to happen. We played well in the field. The big thing is the kids are getting to play. Looking at the weather and talking to other coaches, we feel lucky to get games in this week.’
Ray closed the Shawe Memorial game with three runs scored on a 3-for-4 day. Nick Veith and Gabhart reached three times as well.
It didn’t take long, but the Rebels earned the win heading into the weekend. Versus Crothersville in the first Southern Athletic Conference game Saturday, South Central swept a double header by lopsided 20-0, 23-0 scores. Crothersville managed one hit between the two games. Ray tossed a no-hitter in the opener.
South Central will host Eastern (Pekin) today (Wednesday) then head to West Washington tomorrow and to Corydon Central (double header) on Saturday.
South Central to No. 1 in 1A poll
The most recent Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association poll has the South Central Rebels in the top spot. Receiving 124 votes, the Rebels (4-1) are No. 1, followed by Shakamak (0-2) and Orleans (2-0). Barr-Reeve is seventh.
In the Class 3A poll, Silver Creek (6-1) is ranked No. 2 while Charlestown is No. 10. South Central defeated Charlestown the first week of the season.
Also of note, Floyd Central is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A.
Shawe Memorial 000 00 ‘ 0 2 2
South Central 433 0x ‘ 10 9 0
W ‘ Gabhart, L ‘ Grote.
2B ‘ May (SC), Goforth (SC), Ray (SC), Gabhart (SC).