April 17, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The Chicago connection of Jamal Fletcher and Joba Ferrell enjoyed one of their finest games as collegians Thursday, lifting John A. Logan College to a 10-4 home win over Lake Land College.

The Volunteers improve to 11-8 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference, good for a third-place tie, and are 19-17 overall. The Lakers fall to 11-11 in the league and 15-20 overall. The two teams will conclude the three-game series with a doubleheader today beginning at noon in Mattoon.

Fletcher got Logan off on the right foot with a line-drive three-run homer to left center in the bottom of the second inning. He added a base hit late in the game, scored three runs, and made a diving catch in right field.

“I’m seeing the ball well at the plate,” Fletcher said. “I’m staying focused and trying to be more selective with the pitches I see. When I see the ball in my zone, I attack. I just feel more relaxed than before.”

Ferrell was equally impressive as he knocked out four hits in five at bats, including two doubles and a triple. He also drove in four runs on the day, scored two, and played his usual solid defense in center.

“Joba swung the bat as well today as he has all season,” said Vols head coach Jerry Halstead. “As for Jamal, he followed up a three-hit day Saturday at Wabash Valley with a multiple-hit effort today. That three-run bomb really got us going. It’s good to see him starting to put it all together.”

Picking up the win for Logan Thursday was freshman southpaw, Joey Marciano (7-2), who went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out five, walked one and hit one.

Sophomore Tyler McGowan worked two innings and gave up one run. Aaron Gabriel tossed one scoreless inning.

Ferrell and Fletcher weren’t the only Vols with big days at the dish. Freshman Walker Owens rapped out three base hits on the day. Tanner Scott and Jacob Carpenter added RBI singles. Zach Ditto also had a hit.

“We need every win we can get going down the stretch here so that we can finish in the top four in the league and host the first round of the regional,” Halstead said. “Getting this first game of the series is a big start. Now, we have to do it again tomorrow at their place. We at least need to come away with a split.”