March 27, 2014

JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

ULLIN – Freshman righthander Brad Potts had the John A. Logan College hitters off stride all day as the host Shawnee College Saints upended the Volunteers Wednesday afternoon, 4-2, in Region 24 play.

Potts allowed only two runs on eight hits. The Dexter, Mo. native struck out four and walked three. He induced 14 flyball outs.

The Volunteers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Walker Owens singled in Tanner Scott, who had doubled and advanced to third on a passed ball.

Logan extended its lead to 2-0 in the fifth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of John Tolliver, driving in Zach Ditto, who had reached on an error and advanced on two bunts. That would be the last time JALC would dent the scoring column.

[caption id="attachment_19405" align="alignright" width="290" caption="Vols’ sophomore pitcher John Schram tossed two scoreless innings to start the game Wednesday against Shawnee. Schram is back from Tommy John surgery. (Logan Media Services photo by Jon LeBlond)"]<img src="http://news.jalc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/john-schram-pitch-mar14-crop-r.jpg" alt="Vols’ sophomore pitcher John Schram tossed two scoreless innings to start the game Wednesday against Shawnee. Schram is back from Tommy John surgery. (Logan Media Services photo by Jon LeBlond)" title="john-schram" width="290" height="279" class="size-full wp-image-19405" />[/caption]The Saints scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the fifth off reliever Kyle Schneider in his third inning of work. Sophomore Pete Plesko of Anna walked. Brent Taylor, also of Anna, bunted him to second. Another walk, this one to Alex McRaven of Anna, left runners on first and second with one out.

Schneider managed to strike out Cody Gilbert for the second out, but Carterville native Daniel Allen followed with an RBI single. Logan centerfielder Joba Ferrell’s ill-advised throw home allowed both McRaven and Allen to move up to second and third on the play. Ethan Browning then singled home both runners to give Shawnee the lead at 3-2. An error by rightfielder Jamal Fletcher led to the Saints’ fourth and final run.

The Vols loaded the bases in the top of the ninth off Potts, but failed to score as Jacob Carpenter flied out to deep left to end the game.

“Give Shawnee (5-0 at home, 10-3 overall) credit. They’ve beaten everyone they’ve played here at home,” said a disappointed Logan head coach Jerry Halstead. “Coach (Greg) Shepard’s done a great job. They were the better team today. They made all the plays. We played some bad baseball. We made errors in the field. We didn’t hit with runners in scoring position. And we couldn’t throw strikes in the fifth inning. When you walk batters, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

On the positive side for Logan, sophomore John Schram, tossed two scoreless innings to start the game as he continues his trek back from Tommy John surgery and freshman Ryan Dunne retired all nine batters he faced in the sixth through eighth innings.

Offensively, Tanner Scott and Carpenter each collected two hits. Defensively, Ditto made two sparkling plays at second base ranging far to his left.

The Vols are now 13-10 overall and are scheduled to play a single game at 3 p.m. today at Olney. It’s the start of a three-game series between the top two teams in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. Logan also hosts Olney for two on Saturday beginning at noon.