Baseball: South Central’s pitching too much for Kouts in PCC semifinals
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent May 18, 2013 7:26PM
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:50PM
VALPARAISO — A crafty pitching performance from southpaw starter Logan Lionberger paired with some stellar defense was the winning combination in South Central’s 4-0 victory over Kouts in the semifinals of the PCC Tournament.
“Every team has that lefty,” said South Central head coach Ryan Kruszka. “He can throw three pitches for strikes and be effective. When he throws low strikes and hits his spots—with our defense—he’s a tough pitcher to beat.”
Lionberger pitched six innings, yielding just three hits while walking two and registering five strikeouts. He benefitted from consistently getting ahead of Kouts’ batters.
“When you can get a first pitch strike, you have a higher percentage chance of getting an out, so that’s what my purpose was,” said the sophomore. “I started off with a lot of first-pitch curveballs that caught them off guard and I was working in some changeups.”
The Satellites’ flawless defense behind Lionberger was evident on the game’s first play, when third baseman Adam Clindaniel nabbed a grounder hit down the line and fired to first for an out.
“We hit a bullet down the line and I was thinking we had a double to start the game. But their third baseman made a great play, and he made several great plays,” said Kouts head coach Matt Weston. “They just made every play. You have to tip your hat to them.”
After an RBI single from Clindaniel scored one run in South Central’s half of the first inning, a bad bounce on a grounder to short allowed a second run to score, giving the Satellites an early 2-0 lead.
Kouts nearly took the lead in the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Jake Moore ripped a liner into the outfield — right at centerfielder Austen Hanna. After making the catch, Hanna fired to second for a double play, ending the inning.
“If that’s in the gap, it’s scoring three runs, we take a 3-2 lead, and we’re in great shape,” West said.
South Central added a pair of insurance runs, one each in the fifth and six innings. The Satellites will face Washington Township in Monday’s PCC championship game.