LINDEN — It was a county battle which featured the top two teams in the Sagamore Conference on Tuesday as North Montgomery welcomed the No. 4 ranked Crawfordsville Athenians for what was to be a stellar ball game. The first battle between the two county rivals went to the Athenians who remained a perfect 10-0 in the SAC with a 5-2 win over the Chargers.
CHS scored single runs in the first three innings to jump out to a 3-1 lead on Charger ace Jarrod Kirsch. They added single runs in the fifth and seventh and ended with nine total hits. North Montgomery answered the Athenian run in the first inning and scored their final run in the seventh as Brookes Walters smashed a solo home-run to left field to extend his hitting streak to 19 games.
While the offense for the Athenians in the win was never flashy, it certainly got the job done. The old saying lived true for CHS that when you put the ball in play, good things can happen.
“That’s typical of what high school baseball is all about,” Crawfordsville skipper Brett Motz said. “We hit the ball hard tonight and continued to that over and over. Everyone in the lineup just kept trying to put the ball in play and really helped out Kale Wemer who pitched a very good game on the mound.”
Six of the night hits came off of the bats of AJ Hall and Alex Kellerman as the duo each had a 3-4 night at the plate and also each drove in a pair of runs. Jude Coursey scored three runs and picked up a hit. Kale Wemer and Evan Chaney also picked up a base hit in the CHS win.
Wemer got the win on the mound as he pitched a complete game allowing just four hits, and a single earned run while striking out seven.
“AJ and Alex both had big two out hits that scored us runs and kept the inning alive,” Motz said. “We’re happy when we can manufacture some runs and I feel really good about having AJ and Alex in the middle of our lineup. They both can put the barrel on the ball. I always have faith in Kale Wemer that he’s going to compete no matter what and put forth his best effort to help us win.”
The Chargers fall to 12-7 (7-3 SAC) on the season with the loss. Austin Sulc had two of the four Charger hits with Walters and Ross Dyson each having a hit of their own. Kirsch took the loss on the mound giving up nine hits and four earned runs in six and a third innings. The sophomore walked two and struck out four.
Charger coach Matt Voorhees credited the Wemer and the Athenians for holding his offense in check.
“You know that when you’re going against Crawfordsville that they are going to have great pitching,” he said. “Those guys over there are competitors and are going to battle you. We knew that we were going to have some strikeouts but I felt like we just a hit too many lazy fly balls tonight. We wanted to focus on hitting some line drives and hard hit grounders to try and make them make plays. For the most part I think we played good defense too. This rivalry is great to play in and the best part is about conference baseball is we get another shot at them tomorrow.”
CHS and the Chargers are scheduled for a 6 pm first pitch at Crawfordsville this evening.
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