Effingham Daily News
St. Anthony kept the pressure on from the get-go both on the mound and the basepaths and beat the reigning NTC champion South Central Cougars 8-2.
Zach Gardewine struck out 10 over six innings as the Bulldogs took control from the get-go, earning praise from both coaches.
"Zach, man, he was sharp, he was really good," said South Central head coach Curt Jones.
Gardewine carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, before allowing his first run on a double off the right field wall by Noah Powless. From there, he struck out the next five batters.
Powless had a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but it wasn't enough for the Cougar offense.
"(Gardewine) threw well, whenever he got hurt was when he left the ball up in the zone," said St. Anthony coach Kenny Koenig. "Great game for him to have going further into the season, his pitch count's getting higher and he's throwing the ball well."
As for the Bulldog offense, Neil Williams led off the game with a double, stole third and then scored when Dylan Peters attempted to pick him off at third.
That set the tone, as Austin Bushur scored on an infield single by Alex Hoelscher, who later caused a rundown, forcing an error that brought home Braden Puckett.
Up 3-0, the St. Anthony offense kept running, whether it was stolen bases or wild pitches, as Peters struggled to keep the ball in front of Brett Harmeier at the dish. Two more runs scored on wild pitches throughout the game.
Koenig said the Bulldogs may have gotten in the Cougars' heads early.
"Nothing worse for a defense than teams taking bases on you, then the pitcher's trying to hold the runner and not getting the guy out at the plate, which works to the advantage of our hitters," he said. "We've got nine good bats, but not nine great bats, we've got to try and put stuff together."
Coming off a long layoff before a doubleheader against Patoka Tuesday, the Cougars were in an odd spot, and Jones didn't make any excuses.
"I'm not gonna moan about how bad we were, they were really good," he said. "(Peters has) thrown well, but today was not. This was really what I'd call his first outing of the spring."
Kyle Bray was 2-for-3 for the Cougars, Powless was 1-for-2 with both RBIs, while Dylan Smith had a hit and a run.
Kyle Bourgeois was 2-for-3 for St. Anthony with two runs, Bushur went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a double, while Jacob Lorenz was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The Cougars are now 3-1 and play at home against Carlyle today. St. Anthony (4-5) travels to the Tuscola Invitational this weekend.
South Central 000 101 0 2 4 2
St. Anthony 302 102 X 8 9 0
WP - Gardewine (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 10 K, 1 BB) LP - Peters (5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 8 K, 4 BB)
South Central: Ratermann (0-2, R, BB); Smith (1-3, 2B, R); Bray (2-3); Powless (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI)
St. Anthony: Williams (1-3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB); Lorenz (2-4, R, 2 SB); Bushur (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R); Dasenbrock (1-4); Brad. Puckett (0-1, 2 R, 2 BB); Hoelscher (1-2, RBI, BB, SB); Bourgeois (2-3, 2 R); Gibson (1-3, R)