Longhorns no match for Rebels
By Jonathan PleasantAlthough the Longhorns have been steadily improving throughout the year they were still no match for the speed and experience of the visiting Sullivan South Rebels at home last Thursday. That said, Johnson County did do a little better this time around compared to their earlier 18-1 blowout against the same team. The Rebels did lead off with some solid hitting but many of the runs they made, especially early were simply because of errors made in Johnson County’s fielding.
Time and again South would advance to second or even third on a missed catch or a ground ball, making an already difficult situation even more troublesome. “They were tough, but it would have been a whole less if we had just made the plays,” said head Coach Pete Pavusek. “We made a bunch of errors on plays that you need to make. That would have made it a close game. You give a good team like that extra outs and they’re going to make you pay for it.”
Taking advantage of any slip up, the Rebels managed to push three runners through in the first inning but then went on a two inning dry spell thanks to numerous strikeouts from pitcher Logan Sargent. Leading Johnson County through the first four innings, Sargent picked up seven strikeouts in all among 52 strikes total. Many of those solid throws came at a critical time when Johnson County still had a chance to get in the game, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff.
“Logan Sargent was on the mound and did really well for us,” Pavusek said. “He got a lot of ground balls, but when you give a good team four and five outs an inning they’re going to burn you. Logan pitched really well, he had several strikeouts and should have had that opportunity to give us a chance but the errors just killed us.”
Those mistakes started catching up in the fifth when the Rebels put their first runner on with a miscue at third. That runner was consequently pushed through on a double from the third at bat who was himself bumped home by a walk after the bases loaded up. In all, South took in six more runners in the fifth inning widening the gap far enough that there was little hope a Johnson County comeback. Adding in another two runs at the top of the sixth and South was able to reach double digits yet again, finishing up with 11.
For Johnson County’s part offensively there was a lot of contact on the ball, but the Rebel’s fielders also proved to be more than capable at completing a play. Time and again batters like Freshman Daniel Livorsi would work it to a full count only to make a solid swing that would result in a catch at center field. There were a handful of strikeouts as well but fly balls were a much more serious problem overall.
By the end of the night the Longhorns had made only two clean hits, a left field grounder by Samuel Icenhour in the third and a right field grounder by Adam Worley in the sixth. Icenhour’s hit did result in an RBI after he gave Nathaniel Graybeal the leeway he needed to reach home after taking base on a walk earlier in the inning. That one run aside, Johnson County never made it past first the whole game.
“They were good,” Pavusek concluded. “South was good. That’s a tough team to beat. His athletes, hitters, the outfielders can all run like gazelles. South is the best team in the conference hands down.”