Baseball Sectional

Mounties season ends in sectional semi-finals


GREENCASTLE – Southmont’s baseball season came to an end with a 7-2 loss in the 2A Sectional 44 semifinals to Greencastle.

The Mounties, who lost big to the Tiger Cubs less than two weeks ago, played a solid game, but it was the little things that added up to the loss that ends their season at 1-20, while Greencastle stayed on their home field to play Cloverdale for the championship.

“We have to be nearly perfect with all the intangibles,” Mounties coach Bill Woods  said. “We just had a few of those little things not go right, and they add up quickly against us.”

South jumped out with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning to set a positive offensive tone, but that was the only time they got on the board.

They had singles in three other innings, but were never able to string anything together to start a rally.

“We put the ball in play,” Woods said of the first inning, that started with a couple bunts off the bats of Cale Chadd and Dean McGaughey.

Both bunts were misplayed and both of the guys, who were named to the All-Sagamore Conference Second Team last week, scored. Chadd plated on the second error and Micah Kiger drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.

Colton Cory had two of the three singles for the Mounties, and McGaughey had the other.

That was the offense as Tiger Cubs pitcher Nathan Sutherlin was in control the rest of the way. His defense also was perfect after the first inning, as Shirk had a two-run extra base hit taken away by a great play in left field in the third.

The sophomore went the distance and runs his record to 3-0. He struck out 11 while walking only three.

The Tiger Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs, then took the lead with a run in the third. They added three insurance runs in the fifth and one last one in the sixth.

They had seven hits overall, and took advantage of four Southmont errors, three of which led directly to runs.

“Those errors were costly,” Woods said of the miscues. “That’s a point for improvement for next season. We just don’t have enough offense to give away runs.”

Chadd took the mound to start, and the sophomore went four-plus innings, throwing a high percentage of strikes, and throwing a first-pitch strike to 19 hitters.

After a 92-pitch outing, he gave way to Phisher Benge and then to Gunar Shirk, who went the rest of the way.

The middle of the Tiger Cubs’ order did the damage, scoring six of the seven runs in the 3-4-5 batting spots.

While the season ends for South, there is plenty of hope for the future, as all but one player on the roster will be returning.

Carter Hubble is the only senior on the team, and with only three juniors, there is a lot of baseball left to be played.

“We need to get bigger, stronger and quicker in the offseason,” Woods said of what’s next. “It starts in the weight room, and then  workouts, and more reps in games. We’ve gotta hate to lose more than love to win.”

The coach also said the young team has to find their leaders going forward.

“We didn’t name captains this season,” he continued. “We need one, or more, guys to step up, as vocal leaders and on the field and in the dugout, to be those leaders. That will start with the weight room and the workouts. Those leaders have to be ready to take the team to the next level.”

Woods also congratulated Chadd and McGaughey on their All-Sagamore awards, noting that they could be the early leaders in that leadership role.

“Those guys got better as the season went on, Chadd on the mound and McGaughey really did a nice job behind the plate. For a freshman, he learned a lot on the job, and it will be great to watch him get better and better at the varsity level.”

The Tiger Cubs went on right after the conclusion of their game with the Mounties to defeat Cloverdale 12-0 in five innings for the sectional title.