April 23, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARBONDALE – It was a picture-perfect spring day, but an ugly performance Wednesday by the John A. Logan College baseball team as the Volunteers were shut out by Jefferson College of Hillsboro, Mo., 8-0, at Itchy Jones Stadium on the SIUC campus.

The only good news for Logan was that it was a non-conference match.

On this day, Jefferson righthander Gerrion Grim completely befuddled Vols’ batsmen, holding them to two hits through six masterful innings of work. He struck out seven and walked only one. Relievers D.J. Hickey and Zack Faulkner combined for three scoreless innings and surrendered only one hit.

Collecting singles for JALC were Kyle Schneider, Culver Plant and Tanner Scott. In fact, Scott was the only Logan runner to advance to second base on the day and that was only due to fielder’s indifference in the ninth inning following a base hit.

Picking up the loss was sophomore for Logan was starter John Schram, who was rocked for five runs on six hits in his one inning of work.

“Our starter (Schram) is coming off Tommy John surgery and hasn’t been on a regular throwing program,” said Vols head coach Jerry Halstead. “It’s been kind of hit and miss, while we try to build his arm strength back up. Today, he got the ball up and they jumped all over him. Before you knew it, it was 5-0. Give Jefferson credit. They’re a good ballclub, which is why we play them.”

Freshman Aaron Gabriel was brilliant in relief for the Vols, tossing the final eight innings and allowing only three runs on eight hits.

“I can’t say enough good things about Aaron today,” Halstead said. “He threw really well for the next eight innings to at least give us a chance, but our hitters today didn’t have a good approach at the plate. We didn’t always swing at good pitches and the results obviously weren’t there. We only had three hits.”

Vikings’ sophomore second baseman Justin Blechle had a field day at the plate, banging out four hits with four runs batted in, including a three-run homer in the first. He added two doubles and a single.

Jefferson improves to 28-21 overall, while the Vols fall to 20-19 overall. Logan is scheduled to open a three-game series at 3 p.m. today at Rend Lake College. It marks the final conference series of the spring for both ballclubs.