Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

May 17, 2013

Cougars' bats lead them to regional final South Central downs St. Elmo 12-0


Effingham Daily News

---- — KINMUNDY - During the 2013 season, St. Elmo's Connor Beasley has thrown a no-hitter and struck out 19 batters on two separate occasions. If the South Central Cougars had heard that, it certainly didn't show, as they brought the bats to Beasley and the Eagles on their way to a 12-0 win in the South Central Regional semifinal.The effort was keyed by three home runs, with Kyle Bray and Austin Schwarm each hitting a solo shot and Noah Powless connecting for a three-run home run. "That's a little more how we played in the fall, the last two or three games we've started to put it together," said South Central coach Curt Jones. "It's nice to see them bust out a little bit. I was just glad to see us hit the ball hard."Bray's home run got the Cougars going in the second inning, leading off the frame with a massive home run to right field after the Cougars went down in order in the first. Two batters later, Schwarm followed it up with a solo shot over the left field fence and made it 2-0. "We didn't know what to expect," Jones said. "Finally we're on the board, and it made everyone relax. I could tell by the mood as they came off the field, we've got the lead, we've got this."From there, Beasley and South Central starter Shawn Meyer dueled until the fourth inning, when the wheels came off for St. Elmo. South Central had 15 batters with a plate appearance on its way to 10 runs on nine hits and three errors, with the effort being capped off by Powless' three-run blast. The Cougars were up 5-0 with two outs, and then St. Elmo committed three errors to keep the inning alive for the Cougars. "We haven't had that type of defensive breakdown all year long," said St. Elmo coach Ryan Beccue. "It all just fell apart in one inning, we just couldn't get out of it."Beasley was on the hook for 11 runs on the game, with five of them being earned. He struck out five in 4.2 innings in his final start."He was leaving some pitches up, he never really got into a rhythm," Beccue said. "He did what we asked him, went out there and competed. We've got to make plays behind him and help him out."Meyer ended up easily winning the battle on the mound, allowing just one hit over four innings as he picked up the win. It was a steady effort for the Cougars' hurler as they advanced to the regional final against Altamont.The game will be played Saturday morning with the right to advance to sectional play. South Central's Dan Diss will oppose Altamont's Clayton Ruckman."I watched them play yesterday," Jones said. "They're athletic, they make plays and they don't boot the ball around." St. Elmo's season ends at 11-7, while South Central improves to 8-14.

St. Elmo	000	00	0 4 3South Central	020	(10)X	12 11 1WP - Meyer LP - Beasley

St. Elmo: Bauer (1B); M. Maxey (1B); L. Maxey (1B); Bartels (1B)South Central: Bray (1B, HR, 3 RBI); Schwarm (1B, HR, RBI); Hoffmann (2 1B); Powless (1B, HR, 3 RBI); Smith (1B, 2 RBI); Meyer (1B, RBI); Diss (1B, RBI)