News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

March 29, 2013

South baseball gets first win in finale of Braves Bash

TERRE HAUTE — After losing two games in the 10th annual Baseball Bash, Terre Haute South coach Kyle Kraemer decided to shake up the lineup against New Haven. And it worked.

After losing 4-1 to Mount Vernon in the morning game, the Braves erupted for nine runs and nine hits in a 9-3 win over New Haven in the closing game.

Mt. Vernon defeated Munster 11-8 to win the Bash for the first time since 2007 with a 3-0 record. Munster beat South 7-3 and New Haven 20-1. South finished 1-2 and New Haven 0-3.

South managed just four hits and left six runners on base against Mount Vernon’s Wildcats. With that effort coming on the heels on a poor offensive performance on Friday against Munster, Kraemer made changes.

“We’re going to try and shake it up. The problem is our seniors aren’t leading and we have a bunch of sophomores who are maybe a little timid and when that happens you can expect things like that to show themselves,” Kraemer said after the Braves’ first win of the high school baseball season.

Jacob Johnson, who was 2-for-3 with a double batting leadoff against Mt. Vernon, dropped into the three hole. Freshman Justin Jenkins became the leadoff hitter.

Jenkins didn’t get a hit, but got on base twice against New Haven. Johnson finished the day 4-for-5 at bat with a double, two runs scored and one RBI.

“I thought Jacob Johnson hit the ball well today,” Kraemer said.

Pitching was South’s strength all day. Against Mt. Vernon, Damon Olds struck out 10 in six innings, while Pete Lannoo had a no-hit shutout through four innings against New Haven before Kraemer started changing pitchers every inning.

“Damon [Olds] threw exceptionally well the first game. I didn’t realize he had 10 strikeouts. And I thought Pete [Lannoo] threw the ball really, really well,” Kraemer.

South’s victory over New Haven wasn’t as close as the 9-3 final score indicated. The Braves built a 9-0 lead through five innings, putting eight hits together with six New Haven errors.

“I think [hitting is] just a matter of being aggressive at the plate. It seemed like all weekend we were very, very passive,” Kraemer said.

Against New Haven, Johnson and Cody Brock each had two hits, while Zach Donnelly, Austin Slover, Cam Higgins and Lannoo each doubled.

In game one, the Braves picked up where they left off Friday night – struggling to hit.

Mount Vernon’s Trevor Veeck and reliever Collin Varner combined to throw a four-hitter in the 4-1 win over South.

“Offensively we’re absolutely clueless. I think we had five backwards Ks [caught looking strikeouts]. We had five pop outs to the catcher. We just don’t have any idea,” Kraemer said.

Two of those caught-looking strike outs came in the fourth inning with two on base and nobody out. An infield single by Slover loaded the bases and the inning ended with a ground out.

Lead-off hitter Johnson accounted for half of South’s four hits and only run of the game. Johnson had a double and single. An infield single by Preston Tofaute scored Johnson in the first.

South got a sound six-inning pitching performance from Olds. The righthander struck out 10 and walked just two, but two of the five hits he gave up were for extra bases.

“[Olds] kept the ball down, which is a positive for him. He’s got to work on his breaking ball,” Kraemer said.

When Olds got the ball up, the Wildcats jumped on it for four runs in the fourth inning.

The Wildcats’ rally started with a South throwing error on a routine ground ball. Mount Vernon’s Drake McNamara blooped a hit down the right-field line and Veeck followed with a run-scoring double that tied the score 1-1.

When Olds didn’t get a knee-high strike call, he raised the next pitch and Craig Beeson ripped a home run over the left field fence.

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