Outstanding pitching mixed with a boatload of hits resulted in a doubleheader sweep Saturday for the John A. Logan College baseball team as the Vols shook off a home loss to Olney Friday to knock off the host Blue Knights, 5-3 and 6-1, in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play.
Sophomore pitchers Derek Thompson and Chris Hunt were almost unhittable on the mound, while sophomore teammate, Anthony Bayus, was practically unstoppable at the plate in banging out six hits in the twin bill.
Thompson, now 7-1, won the opener, going all nine innings, and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out 15 and walked two. After giving up a run in the first, the Teutopolis native shut out Olney for seven consecutive innings.
Tiring in the ninth, he surrendered a two-run homer to Harrisburg product, Kollin Dowdy, before striking out two of the next three batters to finish the game.
Thompson said he felt good on the mound.
“I struggled some the first inning, but after that, I thought I did pretty well. My change up was my best pitch today. I felt I could throw it for strikes at any time. I just felt good with it.”
The Vols took a 2-1 lead in the third inning when DeJohn Suber singled, advanced to second on a ground out and came around to score on an RBI single by Tanner Scott. Keelin Rasch followed with a single as did Derek Repking to drive in Scott.
Logan added a run in the fourth when Suber, who had singled, scored on an RBI double by J.C. Davis. The lead grew to 5-1 in the fifth inning. With one out, Repking was hit by a pitch. Joba Ferrell doubled him to third. Bayus then doubled to right center to drive in both.
Bayus led the offense with three hits. Zac Mishler had a double and single. Suber connected for two singles and scored two runs. Rasch, Repking, Davis and Ferrell all collected one hit.
Vols head coach Jerry Halstead was pleased with the win.
“For seven innings today, Derek was outstanding,” he said. “Offensively, a big difference between yesterday and today was that we had some two-out hits today.”
In Game 2, the Vols jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Repking had a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Mishler hit a solo home run in the third. In the fourth, Jamal Fletcher singled in Ferrell, who had doubled, and then scored on an errant throw by the shortstop, Matt McGowan.
Olney scored once in the bottom of the frame, but Logan tacked on a fifth run in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Bayus, driving in Scott, who had singled. Rasch then sealed the deal with a solo homer in the seventh.
Page 2 of 2 - Meanwhile, Hunt was superb on the hill, striking out 13 in his seven innings of work. He scattered seven hits and walked two in improving to 4-4 on the spring.
“I thought I did pretty well. I was happy with the way I threw,” Hunt said. “My curve ball was working well today. I knew coming into today that this was a big game and was glad I could help us win the weekend series.”
Taking the loss was Murphysboro native Mitchell Rose, working the first five innings and allowing five runs on 10 hits. He had no strike outs, one walk and two hit batsmen.
Rasch and Bayus led the team at the dish with three hits each. Mishler accounted for two hits. Fletcher, Suber, Ferrell and scott had one hit apiece.
Halstead said he was proud of his team for finding a way to get a sweep on the road against a good team in Olney.
“Chris Hunt was pretty dominant. He threw strikes and kept them off balance. He kept us where we needed to be all seven innings.”
Halstead said that if the Vols continue to put hits together and score runs as they did Saturday, there’s no telling how far they can go because the starting pitching has been very good.”
Now 21-15 overall and 8-3 in the GRAC, Logan plays host to Jefferson College out of Hillsboro, Mo. with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday before returning to league play Friday at Lake Land College in Mattoon.