Southmont baseball began the season with three straight wins. Since then it’s been a struggle for the Mounties who are under the leadership of first year coach Bill Woods. South enters the post-season with a record of 5-17 and will compete in the Class 2A Sectional 44 which is hosted by Parke Heritage.
In round one on Wednesday the Mounties will see a team in the Greencastle Tiger Cubs that bested them 8-0 back on Apr. 24. Back then the Mounties were without senior Adam Cox who was still nursing a hamstring injury. With Cox back and Southmont playing better baseball, Woods is optimistic about his team as they enter post-season play.
“We know that we didn’t play our best game when we played them last,” he said speaking of the earlier season loss to the Tiger Cubs. “We’ve started to really hit the ball a lot better as of late and we feel pretty good about where we’re at heading in.”
Senior slugger Mason Hall leads the Mounties offensively with a .346 average on the season. Hall’s seven home runs still have him tied for 10th in the state this season. Cox in 11 games has batted .312 including a recent 3-4 game against county rival North Montgomery. Phisher Benge sits a .286 as a freshman while fellow freshman Gunnar Shirk bats .256.
Coming into the final night of the regular season on Monday Greencastle posts a record of 12-10 on the year. Offensively the Tiger Cubs can swing it with a team average of .315. Freshman Nathan Sutherlin leads the team with a .453 average, 34 hits and 28 RBI’s. Fellow freshman Trevan Long bats .444. Junior Owen Huff bats .435 and is second on th team with 27 hits. Three other Tiger Cubs also bat over .300
Defensively the Mounties have been hurt with some costly errors this season. They average 3.3 miscues a game compared to the Tiger Cubs 1.8.
A season ago the Mounties were oh so close to the sectional championship in a one-run loss to Parke Heritage. Plenty of this year’s seniors were on that team and Woods wants to avenge that loss from a year ago.
“A sectional win would be huge for this program as a whole,” he said. “This group felt like they should’ve won it last year so if we can avenge that loss it would go a long way. It would get even more kids excited about what we’re building here and most importantly leave a nice legacy for these seniors. We’ve talked about all of those things all year so now’s our time to go out and get it done.”
The winner of Southmont and Greencastle will take on the winner of North Putnam and Parke Heritage in the semi-finals on Thursday. Both South Putnam and Cloverdale drew the bye into the semi-finals on Thursday on the opposite side of the bracket.
Southmont and Greencastle will play in game two on Wednesday with an approximate start time of 7:30.