Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

September 12, 2013

Cougars pull away with nine-run fourth inning

(Continued)

Ratermann, who was one of the five players to bat twice in the inning, reached on an error by shortstop Zane Austin, which scored the ninth run in the inning. Smith, who started the inning with the first RBI, popped out to the centerfielder.

“We gave (South Central) several more breaks than they gave us,” Root said. “I thought we were very un-fundamental defensively and we were unwilling to change.”

Webber Township had its chance to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning trailing 2-1, but Mark Knepler and Corey Hammer failed to drive in Gowler from third base with one out.

Root said he was disappointed that neither Knepler nor Hammer could get good contact on a ball to score Gowler. Knepler grounded out to the first basemen, who watched Gowler back to third base as he stepped on the bag for the second out. Then, Hammer struck out to end the inning.

“There was one out and you have to put a better swing on the ball,” Root said. “Tip your cap to (South Central). Their pitcher made a quality pitch.”

South Central pitcher Tyler Ross was the reason Webber Township had a runner in scoring position in the fourth inning, which Root said was a “little break.” Ross overthrew the first basemen on a pickoff attempt, which allowed Gowler to reach third base on the wild throw.

Ross took care of Webber Township in the top of the fifth inning after two of the first three batters reached base. Lane Moser popped out to the right fielder to end the game.

Ross picked up the win, throwing a complete game and giving up only three hits, which Jones said is a sign that his pitcher is getting better after struggling with pitch location in the early innings.

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