The Ottumwa Courier

July 4, 2013

Mustangs and Big Reds split two tight ones

By ROGER THOMAS Courier correspondent
Ottumwa Courier

---- — BLOOMFIELD — Neither Davis County nor Centerville looked to split games in their SCC baseball doubleheader last Tuesday night in Bloomfield, but that's what they had to settle for.

Centerville won the opener 3-2, but the Mustangs won game two 5-3.

A close, low-scoring , well played game — like game one — usually is controlled by the starting pitching. Levi Sebolt didn't allow an earned run in his six innings of work for Centerville.

Mustang Connor Young, the hard-luck loser, surrendered three first-inning runs, only one of them earned, but was nearly untouchable the rest of the way for the Mustangs. Centerville scored all three of their game one runs in the top of the first. JD McDaniel started the rally with a two-out single. Michael Starcevich singled after a walk. The first Centerville run scored on a Mustang error. Colton Gonnerman followed with a two RBI single for the early game winner.

"I didn't expect that to be the game winner," said Gonnerman. "We were looking to get more because we usually need five or six to win."

After the first, Young faced the minimum number of hitters over the next four innings — At one point, he retired nine Big Red batters in a row.

"We didn't do a very good job of carrying on our early momentum," said Centerville coach Bill Huisman.

Sebolt and the Big Reds dodged some bullets as they maintained the 3-0 lead through the fifth. The Mustangs stranded seven baserunners in the five innings.

"We've been hitting the ball better lately" said Davis County coach Todd White. "Getting the timely hit has been a problem at times."

Davis County finally got on the board with a single run in the sixth. Matt Hopkins led off the inning with his third hit. He would score on a Centerville error. Young started his final inning by striking out the first two Big Reds. After issuing a walk and a two-out hit, he picked up his eighth strikeout to end the top of the seventh.

"Connor (Young) is the kind of kid that doesn't get down if it's tough early," said White. "He is a competitor and did a great job tonight."

Calvinn Utt led off the Mustang seventh with a single. Utt would come around to score on a wild pitch. The Mustangs added a one out walk that followed a Big Red error but Gonnerman picked up the save by

retiring the final two Mustangs.

Game two, the 5-3 Davis County win was a reversal of game one. The Mustangs had the early 3-0 lead and the Big Reds were plagued with early runners left on base (seven in the first three innings).

"We just needed a little spark to take advantage of those situations and we didn't get it," said Huisman.

The Mustangs took a 3-0 lead in the third. Utt walked, Young doubled and Mac Chilton delivered a two-RBI single. Chilton would score on a Big Red error.

Centerville tied it at three in their next at bat. Pinch hitter, Garrett Moorman, singled with one out and Gonnerman followed with a homerun to left.

"I was expecting a curve ball but I saw the high fastball and thought that might be my best chance for a good swing," said Gonnerman. Michael Firkins had his second hit in the inning and the tying run scored on a DC error.

With relief pitcher, Jacob Jones, on in relief for the Mustangs — DC used a 4-6-3 double play to keep Centerville off the board in the fifth. Earlier in the game, Hopkins — the Mustang rightfielder — threw

out a runner at the plate. In the sixth, the Mustangs ended the inning by catching Big Red runner in a run down off third.

"We had a couple of baserunning mistakes, but give DC some credit — they made some plays," said Huisman.

The Mustangs scored the winning runs in the home half of the fifth. Utt and Young led off with back to back singles and this time, Hopkins had the two RBI base hit.

"I've been hitting the ball pretty good lately," said Hopkins. "I had some good swings tonight."

Those two guys (Hopkins and Chilton) have been pretty consistent for delivering a hit with runners on," added White.

Jones continued his solid work in relief by retiring the final three Big Reds in order in the seventh. He would have four strikeouts in his three innings of relief.

"I'm comfortable in the late game," said Jones. "I've been using a slider lately to try and keep the ball low and away." DC (11-18,6-14) played at Cardinal Wednesday. Centerville (16-13,10-6) travelled to Eddyville for a big SCC doubleheader Wednesday.

Centerville 3, Davis County 2

CEN 300 000 0 — 3 5 4

DC 000 001 1 — 2 6 2

Centerville battery — Sebolt (WP) (6IP, 6H, 2R, 0ER, 4K, 4BB), Gonnerman (SV) (1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB), Firkins catching.

2B — none .

3B — none.

HR — none.

Hits — McDaniel 1-for-3, Starcevich 1-for-3, Gonnerman 1-for-3, Jared Armington 1-for-3, Trey Reinhart 1-for-3.

RBI — Gonnerman 2.

Runs — McDaniel, Tommy Matley, Starcevich.

Davis County battery — Young (LP (7IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 8K, 2BB), Utt catching.

2B — Jones, Young.

3B — none.

HR — none.

Hits — Jones 1-for-3, Utt 1-for-3, Young 1-for-3, Hopkins 3-for-3 .

RBI — none.

Runs — Utt, Hopkins.

Davis County 5, Centerville 3

CEN 000 300 0 — 3 8 3

DC 003 020 x — 5 7 4

Centerville battery — Armington (LP) (4IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 2K, 4BB), McDaniel (2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2K, 0BB), Firkins catching.

2B — none.

3B — none.

HR — Gonnerman.

Hits — Gonnerman 3-for-4, Sebolt 1-for-3, Firkins 2-for-4, Starcevich 1-for-3, Moorman 1-for-2 .

RBI — Gonnerman 2.

Runs — Gonnerman, Sebolt, Moorman.

Davis County battery — Park Mikels (4IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 1K, 4BB), Jones (WP) (3IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 0BB), Utt catching.

2B — Young, Mikels.

3B — none.

HR — none.

Hits — Jones 1-for-4, Utt 1-for-1, Young 2-for-3, Chilton 1-for-3, Hopkins 1-for-2, Mikels 1-for-3 .

RBI — Chilton 2, Hopkins 2.

Runs — Utt, Drew Thornsberry, Young 2, Chilton.