April 7, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College baseball team spotted visiting Lincoln Trail College of Robinson an early 3-0 lead, but rallied to post a six spot in the second inning to take command of the game en route to a 12-6 victory Saturday.

With the win, the Volunteers improve to 16-12 on the spring, 10-3 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference, to remain in first place. The Statesmen fall to 8-6 in the league and 16-13 overall. They are in third place, two games out of the lead.

Logan starter Joey Marciano (6-1) was erratic in the opening frame, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits with two walks and a wild pitch. An error by Vols’ first baseman John Tolliver also led to a run.

A freshman lefthander, Marciano settled down after the first, posting zeroes in the second through sixth innings. Tiring in the seventh, he surrendered two additional runs. Altogether, he went seven innings, allowed five runs on eight hits, struck out eight and walked three.

Harrisburg native Tyler McGowan hurled the final two frames, giving up one run on three hits. The righthander struck out two, walked one and induced a double-play grounder.

JALC’s big second inning started off with a single to right by Culver Plant. Konner Lutz then singled up the middle. Kyle Schneider bunted the runners to second and third and reached first safely on an errant throw by the pitcher who fielded the bunt.

Walker Owens followed with an RBI single. One out later, Joba Ferrell was hit by a pitch. Jacob Carpenter then delivered a two-run single to drive in a pair, his first of three hits on the day. Tanner Scott popped up to short for the second out, but Tolliver atoned for his miscue in the field by stroking a two-run single.

The Vols added two runs in the sixth inning to make the score 8-3 when Schneider reached on an infield single, Zach Ditto walked and Carpenter drove in both with a two-out single.

After Lincoln Trail plated two in the top of the seventh to make the score 8-5, Logan answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning for a 12-5 advantage.

Plant reached on an infield single. He went to second on a throwing error by the shortstop and scored when the centerfielder dropped a line drive off the bat of Lutz. Schneider then reached on an error by the third baseman. Owens walked and Ditto drove in two with a base hit. Ferrell then capped off the frame with an RBI double to right.

Carpenter paced the Vols’ offense with three hits. Plant contributed two hits. Ferrell, Tolliver, Lutz, Schneider, Owens and Ditto had one apiece. Scott hit in bad luck. Two balls hit to deep left center most certainly would have been home runs if not for the fact that the wind was blowing in hard during the game.

Logan head coach Jerry Halstead said he thought his team started out a little flat before kicking it in gear.

“I didn’t think we were very good at the start. Some of that could maybe be attributed to not knowing if the game would be played or not and not knowing for sure whether the game would be played in Carterville or Robinson. Once we got settled in, I thought we did a good job. And it helped to tack on some runs late to put the game out of reach.”

Halstead said Carpenter’s hot bat has been a key.

“Carp had another big day today, which is what we are getting to expect from him. We also moved Johnny Tolliver into the No. 4 hole to drive in runs and that’s what he did today. Overall, we played pretty well once the first inning was over.”

The next step, Halstead said, is to follow up Saturday’s win with at least a split, if not sweep of the Statesmen Sunday.