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SC’s one big inning not enough

SC’s one big inning not enough
SC’s one big inning not enough
South Central's Logan May is unable to elude a pitch late in the game at Providence. It was the second time May was struck by the ball in the game last Tuesday. Photos by Brian Smith

Class 2A No. 2 South Central fell behind early then had a four-run inning to take a brief lead at Providence last Tuesday.
Holding on to the lead wasn’t in the cards for the Rebels, who fell 6-4 under the lights on the Pioneers’ home field.
‘They are a good ball team,’ South Central coach Brian McKnight said of Providence. ‘They move runners well and did several of the things I wish we could have done tonight.’
Neither team put up great offensive numbers. Both had five hits, but, within its five, Providence was able to bring home six runs.
It took only two hits in the bottom of the first to produce three Providence scores. A single by Tim Borden and Juston Betz reaching on an error put the first two runners on base.
A double to right center by Parker Graf plated Borden. South Central hurler Parker Gabhart was able to induce ground outs with the next two batters. Both, however, scored runs, giving Providence a 3-0 lead.
South Central’s offense picked up in the third inning when nine batters toed the batter’s box. The first four reached base; Lucas Veith, Cory Ray and Nick Veith with singles and Austin Schoen’s sacrifice bunt saw the Providence catcher launch the ball to center, allowing him to reach.
Nick Veith plated the first run with a single to the same spot Ray placed a hit, between the shortstop and third baseman.
With one out, Parker Gabhart and Jack Turner patiently drew bases-loaded walks tossed by hard-throwing Reece Davis.
The end result of the inning was South Central taking a 4-3 lead after Logan May grounded out to plate Nick Veith.
Providence bounced back, manufacturing runs. Betz and Graf reached on a hit batter and single to begin the frame. They each trotted home when Jake Lewis grounded out and when Jacob Quinkert hit a sac fly. The RBI put the Pioneers back on top 5-4.
South Central put the first runner on in the fifth and sixth innings but couldn’t move them with sacrifice-bunt attempts. Each try, the short bunts resulted in the Providence catcher throwing out the runner at second.
‘We couldn’t get a bunt down the way we wanted,’ McKnight said. ‘They threw two of us out at second base on bunts. That is (Providence) being aggressive but also on us for not putting the bunt out far enough. We didn’t get it done the way we normally do.’
Providence added an insurance run in the sixth when Quinkert scored on a wild pitch after starting the frame with a double.
South Central didn’t go away quietly. With two outs, a Nick Veith free pass and an Alex Goforth single brought the go-ahead run to the dish.
Going to the bull pen, Providence reliever Jake Katchur saved the game by getting Gabhart to ground out.
Davis earned the win, striking out five.
‘That was probably the hardest pitcher we’ve seen,’ McKnight said of Davis. ‘We haven’t seen too many hard throwers yet. We could hit him but just couldn’t string them together.’
Gabhart took the loss, his first of the season. He walked one and hit one while striking out three.
‘We got down and kept plugging away,’ McKnight said. ‘Even to the final inning, we had runners on and couldn’t get another hit or two. It makes it hard when the first guy gets on in several innings but we can’t get them around.’
The Rebels played without outfielder Joseph Logsdon, who is sitting out with a minor ankle injury. McKnight had to shuffle the defense and lineup to adjust.
In the game, May reached base twice, both on hit by pitches.
Graf was most effective for the Pioneers, going 2 for 2 with a walk.
‘We haven’t had a terrible ballgame all year,’ McKnight said. ‘We’ve been in every game we’ve played, even with Silver Creek. The score may look otherwise, but we were right there until the final inning. We play 28 games, so it is going to happen sometimes. We play a fairly tough schedule for a 1A school, so we will learn from these close ones.’
South Central and Providence have identical 9-4 records.
The Rebels will host Clarksville today (Wednesday).

South Central 004 000 0 ‘ 4 5 1
Providence 302 001 x ‘ 6 5 1
W ‘ Davis, L ‘ Gabhart, Sv ‘ Katchur.
2B ‘ Graf (P), Quinkert (P), Rauck (P).
Records: South Central 9-4, Providence 9-4.