Jeffersonville storms over Cougars
Storms were all around the North Harrison baseball field last Tuesday night and a storm took place on the field, as well, as the visiting Jeffersonville Red Devils blew apart the Cougars, 13-0. Mother Nature added another insult with a deluge of rain right after the game was over.
‘I think against teams like that we may be 0-20,’ North Harrison coach Cody Johnson said. ‘Sometimes you just face a team that is better than you. Bigger school, bigger guys, and that’s kind of what we fell into. Coach (Derek) Elles is doing a heck of a job running his program.’
Neither team scored in the first inning though both sides got a runner on the base, with Joseph Burke hitting a double for the Red Devils and Konnor Voyles rapping a single in the bottom of the inning for the Cougars.
A major downpour came in the top of the second inning, and the Cougars became the victims. Jeffersonville’s Cameron Northern hit a single and stole second. He then went to third base on a passed ball. With one out, Jeffersonville hit into a fielder’s choice to score Northern for the first run.
With two outs, the Cougars had a chance to end the inning, but they walked Jordan Thomas. At that point, a hurricane force wind blew in as Jeffersonville ripped four straight hits, including a triple by Drew Campbell that scored two runs. The Red Devils scored seven all together in the inning to put the pressure on the Cougars.
‘I think what we found out we gave up those seven runs in the second inning, but we really didn’t give up that many runs after that,’ Johnson said. ‘That thing could have snowballed and been 22-0.’
Jeff, however, put three more runs on the board in the third inning. With one out, Jacob Cochrum pounded a home run over the center-field fence. Thomas followed with a single, and Campbell walked. With two outs, Joseph Burke singled to score Campbell. Cameron Higdon went to the mound for the Cougars, but the Red Devils got one more run when Ellis scored on a passed ball for a 10-0 lead.
The Cougars got two runners on base in the bottom of the third but failed to convert the runs.
Jeff threatened in the top of the fourth, as well, but also failed to convert.
North Harrison had another chance to score in the bottom of the fourth as Alex Eveslage and Higdon singled, but there would be no celebrating a run.
In the top of their fifth inning, the Red Devils added more to their total as Burke pounded a one-out double. With two outs, Northern ripped a single to score Burke. Trey Dempsey punched a double to the fence, and a North Harrison error put Michael Minton on safely to score Northern. Cochrum singled to score Dempsey, and the Red Devils had a 13-0 lead.
Cochrum struck out the side in the bottom of the inning, and Jeffersonville had the 13-0 win.
‘To be 13-0, it’s not what you hope for, but it could be worse,’ Johnson said. ‘But they didn’t give up, and my pitcher kept throwing strikes and our catcher kept working back there, Brett Rudolph.’
North Harrison finished with just four hits, all singles. Pitcher Devin Sweeney had one strikeout and two walks, and Higdon had a strikeout. North Harrison had two errors and left four runners on base.
Despite the loss, Johnson praised Sweeney for consistently throwing strikes in his first varsity start.
‘To come in like that and be able to pound the strike zone, going forward I’m looking for Sweeney to get on the mound a lot, because I have a lot of faith in him now,’ Johnson said. ‘But it takes me a while being a young, new coach. I have faith in a certain amount of guys, so I’m trying to extend my tolerance for failure, because baseball is a game where you fail a ton. He responded well. He was cool, calm and collected, and they just hit it.’
Senior Alex Flock had North Harrison’s two errors, but Johnson said everybody has an off day when things just don’t go well.
‘It’s hard to stay up when it’s 13-0,’ the Cougars’ coach said. ‘He knew that, but he’s one of our leaders, and I want to keep him in the game as much as possible. He controls tempo. He can work guys in and out. Konnor is the same way. I gave him a break because he threw so well yesterday. He was giving it all he had yesterday, so I wanted to give him a few innings where he could just sit and watch the game. … They have off days. They’re kids still. I tell them all the time, you don’t have to be perfect.’
Jeffersonville finished with 15 hits for the five innings. Burke led the Red Devils with four hits, including two doubles. North had two, and Cochrum had two, including his home run. From the pitching mound, Cochrum struck out nine Cougars’ batters and walked one. The Red Devils left four runners on base and had no errors.
‘They’re a good team,’ Johnson said. ‘They know they’re a good team. That’s the trouble. You can’t get in their head at all putting up a zero. They’re ready to go.’
Jeffersonville 073 03 ‘ 13 15 0
North Harrison 000 00 ‘ 0 4 2
W ‘ Cochrum, L ‘ Sweeney (0-1).
2B ‘ Burke (J) 2, Dempsey (J); 3B ‘ Campbell (J); HR ‘ Cochrum (J).