Baseball Cubs rout Switz. Co. to halt skid at 7 games
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 3:03 PM
Madison starter Ceaton Bowman twirled a three-hit shutout and the Cubs broke a seven-game losing streak with a 9-0 baseball win over Switzerland County Monday at Gary O’Neal Field.
CUT DOWN: Madison shortstop Evan Chism applies the tag to Switzerland County’s Austin South at second base during Monday’s meeting at Gary O’Neal Field. South had led off the game by reaching on an error but was caught trying to reach second. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
The Cubs, who had not won since the first week of the season, collected only five hits but took advantage of 10 Switzerland walks to break back into the winning column.
“Overall, I’m glad for the kids that we came out and played well,” Madison coach Tim Armstrong said. “We were up the whole game. I was concerned in the first two innings because we had three errors but they were physical errors, not mental ones, and I can live with those as long as we continue to get better. After that, it didn’t rattle us.”
Switzerland County (4-6) had ample chances to take an early lead, putting three runners on base over the first two innings thanks to Madison mistakes.
But Bowman worked through those jams and was never rattled, striking out eight and walking two over seven innings. Whenever the Cubs needed it, Bowman was there to make the right pitch.
“I thought Ceaton had command of everything all night long,” Armstrong said. “He had control and he had confidence in everything, even in that last inning. I told him we wanted to go out and don’t play around, go right at them, and he did that.”
Madison (3-7) gave Bowman all the runs he would need in the third inning thanks in large part to three walks. Gunner Jones led off with a walk, Jacob Nichols followed with a single and Bowman walked to load the bases. Zach Dean brought in two runs with a single and Bowman scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs blew the game open in the fifth thanks to four more walks and a hit batter and added two more in the sixth for the final margin.
Switzerland starter Dalton Roark walked five batters over three and a third innings and reliever Austin South followed with four more in one and two-thirds. Kenyon Bledsoe also walked a batter in the sixth.
“We often tell our boys that the team that plays catch the best is usually the one who wins and today that was Madison,” Switzerland coach Chad Combs said. “Our pitchers just struggled to throw strikes. We were actually in the negative on the balls-to-strike ratio and when you’re playing a good team like Madison, you better be on your game. But it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, it’s hard to beat anybody if you’re throwing more balls than strikes.”
Switzerland had a chance to break through Bowman and end the shutout in the sixth when Patrick Stow doubled, Roark was hit by a pitch and Kyle Whitham singled to load the bases. But Bowman grounded out the final batter to end the threat and keep the Pacers off the scoreboard.
“Even when they loaded the bases, we didn’t rattle and made the plays,” Armstrong said. “That was good to see.”
Nichols and Mikiah Kring had two hits each and accounted for the bulk of Madison’s offense. Nichols drove in one run and scored once while Kring scored twice. Dean had the Cubs’ other hit.
Connor Thurnall added two RBIs, Hunter Ferris scored three times and Zach Burnett had an RBI and a run scored for Madison.
Casper Stow had Switzerland’s other hit.
The loss was the Pacers’ second-straight by a lopsided score. They lost 14-3 to Batesville on Saturday and Combs said the Swiss just need to get back to work.
“The next pitch. None of this matters now,” Combs said. “We have New Washington on Wednesday and they don’t care, they don’t feel sorry for us. We just have to mentally get ourselves ready. There’s nothing we can do about the past. The only thing we can do is learn and prepare for the future.”
Madison visits Seymour today.
Hilltoppers now 0-5
The result was the same as in the Hilltoppers’ other four losses this season but Shawe coach Matt Forner saw some improvement in his team despite losing 11-1 at Rising Sun in five innings.
“The score doesn’t show it but we are certainly getting better,” Forner said. “It was one of the better games we’ve played offensively. We only had three strikeouts and we put the ball in play a lot so I do think we’re coming around.”
Shawe got off to a solid start by taking a 1-0 lead on the Shiners in the top of the first inning by capitalizing on a Rising Sun error and small ball strategy to move leadoff batter Christopher Grote around the paths for a 1-0 lead.
Grote reached on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hunter Henderson. Ethan McCarter ripped a line drive to the right side that would have been trouble for the Shiners had their first baseman not speared the ball for the second out. Grote then stole third before Matt Binzer drove an RBI single into right field to score Grote with the first run.
Rising Sun answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the first when back-to-back walks by Grote — his second and third of the frame — put two runners in scoring position and both came home on a Shawe error.
The Shiners played add-on the rest of the way while Shawe managed just four more hits before the game ended early on the 10 run lead rule.
Walker Kinnett had Shawe’s lone extra base hit with a double and Grote, Henderson, Binzer and Ben Wehner all had singles.
Grote went three innings to take the loss with McCarter pitching the fourth in relief.
“We did some nice things. We put the play in play and we turned a double play,” Forner said. “We’re improving.”
Shawe (0-5, 0-3 Ohio River Valley) hosts South Decatur Wednesday.
Other Games ...
Southwestern baseball lost 7-0 to South Ripley on Monday in Hanover.
The Rebels (4-4, 1-2 Ohio River Valley) visit New Washington today.
Trimble County baseball lost 5-2 to Oldham County in the Raiders’ 29th District opener on Monday.
Trimble (4-6, 0-1 District) visits Oldham on Wednesday to complete the seeding series.