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Timely hits lift Eagles

Timely hits lift Eagles
Timely hits lift Eagles
A fist pump reaction from Lanesville's Jake Chanely excites the Lanesville faithful after tagging out South Central's Parker Gabhart on a steal attempt Friday. Photos by Brian Smith

South Central started with a bang, but Lanesville finished with jubilation.
A packed house at Ed Jaegers Memorial Field in Lanesville saw the hometown Eagles rally to defeat Class 1A No. 4 South Central 6-3.
Pitcher Brenden Bube went the distance, striking out 11 and walking one. Timely hitting ‘ five of the Eagles’ six runs ‘ came with two outs on the scoreboard.
‘South Central and Lanesville has been a big rivalry, and it’s been like a curse when we play,’ Lanesville senior outfielder Josh Barnes said. ‘There’s always one inning that gets us. To finally come back and win one, in a hard-fought game, means a lot.’
Both teams brought their sticks, but it was Lanesville that put together a pair of crooked-number innings in the third and sixth.
Trailing 2-1 in the third, a two-out rally began with no one on base for Lanesville. Bube singled to center and advanced on an error to second. Walks to Stephen Shaffer and Caleb Gresham jammed the bases full of purple-and-white uniforms.
Tommy Tidstrom approached the plate and lined an opposite-field shot off South Central pitcher Nick Veith. The ball cleared a diving attempt by first baseman Jack Turner to plate a pair of runs.
Keeping the roll going, Ryan McCubbins made the score 4-2 in favor of the Eagles with a single to left. He finished the game with a two-hit day, driving in two scores.
‘We focused a lot this week on hitting the ball hard with short swings to put the ball in play,’ Lanesville coach Zach Payne said. ‘It paid off for us. When we get two outs, a lot of kids think it’s the last chance to score and want to hit the ball over the fence, but they stayed within themselves.’
Bube had to bounce back on the hill as well. In each of the first two innings, South Central knocked solo homers over the left-field fence.
With one out in the first, Veith sprinted around the bases after his shot cleared. Then again in the second, Logan May started the frame with a solo blast.
The dingers put South Central ahead 2-0. The Rebels had additional opportunities to score in the first two innings, with hits by Cory Ray and Turner along with a Lucas Veith walk, but couldn’t produce.
Bube faced the minimum the next two innings, benefiting from battery-mate Gresham throwing out Parker Gabhart’s attempt to swipe third in the third.
Lanesville gave up a run in the fifth when Gabhart singled to right, plating Ray. Barnes, from right, threw out Gabhart at second to keep the Lanesville lead at 4-3.
A lead-off double by Turner in the sixth, along with a Joe Logsdon walk, put two on for South Central. With two down, Lucas Veith lifted a fly ball down the right-field line that was caught by Lanesville second baseman Stephen Shaffer with a slide toward the fence while running full speed.
‘I was nervous,’ Shaffer said. ‘As soon as that (ball) touched my glove, I shoved my hand in there so fast. I did not want that thing coming out. It was staying with me one way or another.’
The play likely saved at least the game-tying run from scoring.
‘(Lanesville) just hit the ball,’ South Central coach Brian McKnight said. ‘We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t step up in the situations we had to move or score runners.’
Following Shaffer’s snag, the momentum carried into the dugout. Barnes, along with Jake Chanley, hit near identical center-field singles off reliever Cory Ray. A Jon Ferree sac bunt moved both into scoring position.
Helping his cause on the hill, Bube laced a single to left, scoring Barnes and Chanley.
‘Our seniors were 0-6 versus South Central,’ Payne, a first-year coach, said. ‘I was really happy for them … Jake and Josh came through in the last inning, and Jon moved them around. Those seniors put a mark on the game.’
South Central went down in order in the top of the seventh, igniting a celebration after defensive replacement Joe Ferree caught back-to-back line drives for the final outs.
‘I’m so glad,’ Shaffer said. ‘I knew a win against them was on the way. Since my freshman year, I think we’ve gotten a little stronger … It wasn’t easy, but I’m hopeful we keep this going.’
The hitting stats were similar between the club with Lanesville accumulating nine hits while South Central had eight. Strikeouts, however, favored the Eagles. Bube fanned 11, while Veith and Ray had three in three innings of work each.
‘It was awesome the way he pitched,’ Payne said. ‘When they got the first (home run), I wasn’t worried. When they got the second one, I was worried how (Bube) would react. He was very professional, and I couldn’t be more prouder of that. When those guys came back up (to bat) the second time, he went right after them.’
‘It was obvious we struck out too many times,’ McKnight said. ‘He threw good and out-pitched us. We didn’t put the ball in play enough. That hurts in tight games.’
The win puts Lanesville in prime position to earn at least a share of the Southern Athletic Conference title with Borden and Henryville. The Eagles were slated to host Crothersville, winless in league play, last night (Tuesday).
‘We can enjoy conference, but it is on to sectional now,’ Barnes said. ‘We know they will be out for blood next time. We have to keep the chip on our shoulder.’
Gabhart, Ray and Turner had two hits each for South Central, while Bube and McCubbins had the same for the Eagles.

South Central 110 010 0 ‘ 3 8 1
Lanesville 013 002 x ‘ 6 9 0
W ‘ Bube, L ‘ N. Veith.
2B ‘ Turner 2 (SC), McCubbins (L), Daly (L); HR ‘ Veith (SC), May (SC).