Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 17, 2013

Cougars win outright MHC on Senior Night

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — After snapping a 1-1 tie Thursday against visiting Morristown, the South Decatur baseball team clinched the outright conference title with a 10-3 win on Senior Night.

South honored seniors Byron Balser, Taylor Campos, Matthew Gatewood and Connor Hermesch.

For the Cougars and head coach Andy Seegers, the championship validated what the seniors have meant to the team.

“They deserve it,” he said. “They’re a great group of kids. The seniors as a whole are by far the best group of seniors I’ve had. They’re good leaders. They’re good players. They’re just a good group of guys to lead this team. This is their game. This is their team.”

South won the Mid-Hoosier Conference championship for the first time in 36 seasons. The Cougars had shared the MHC title with Triton Central two years ago.

One night after Gatewood struck out 12 Lancers in the MHC-tying win, Hermesch recorded the win by striking out eight batters and allowing just four hits.

“He pitched a tremendous game,” said Seegers. “I couldn’t ask for more from a senior. He pitched in a big game. He stepped up, as a senior should. He’s throwing the ball really well.”

The Cougars tallied 11 hits on the night.

“We hit the ball well,” said Seegers. “We came up big with the bats when we needed them. We got hits at the right time. It was good to see that going into the second part of our season, which is sectional.”

Balser went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

“Balser hit the ball real well tonight,” said Seegers.

Aaron Haley and Austin Petro each went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Haley scored twice and Petro scored once.

Cougars beat Edinburgh 4-2

South had guaranteed itself a tie for the Mid-Hoosier Conference championship Wednesday, beating host Edinburgh 4-2.

The Cougars can win the MHC outright Thursday with a win over visiting Morristown, for the first time in 36 years. Senior Matthew Gatewood posted 12 strikeouts and gave up just two earned runs on four hits.

With the bases loaded, South scored two runs in the fourth inning. A squeeze play to senior Byron Balser resulted in an overthrow to first base, scoring two runs.

Senior Connor Hermesch started the fifth-inning threat. He hit a two-out triple, then scored on a wild pitch.

Hermesch then hit a seventh-inning triple, and junior Taylor Kopplin drive in Hermesch with a single.

The Lancers scored two runs in the fourth.

Hermesch led South at the plate with two triples, going 2-for-4. Kopplin went 2-for-4 with one RBI, and Damen Martin added a double.

Edinburgh scored two runs on four hits and committed three errors. South committed four miscues.

The Cougars visit Crothersville tonight (Friday) at 4:30 and travel to Jennings County for a double-header Saturday at 11 a.m.

Playing in the Shawe Memorial Sectional 60 tournament, South will face Hauser Thursday at 7:30 p.m. after a first-round bye. On Wednesday, Rising Sun will play Oldenburg Academy, and Jac-Cen-Del will play Shawe Memorial. South or Hauser will play the winner of Wednesday’s games in the Sectional Championship, Monday at 5 p.m.

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.