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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Scott County splits in first day of Woodpecker Classic

Sunday, June 24, 2012

(Photo)
Scott County runner Zach Carlyle slides safely into second base as Kelso's Ben Heuring goes up to collect a high throw on Friday during the Woodpecker Classic at Hillhouse Park.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Looking to start the Woodpecker Classic off with two straight wins on Friday, Scott County Jr. Legion Post 369 posted a 6-2 decision over Jackson Jr. Legion before stepping back on the field to play the Kelso Scrappers.

Unable to maintain a one-time five run advantage, however, Post 369 saw the Scrappers take their first lead of game in the fifth inning before holding on for a 9-8 final.

"Our defense lapsed in a couple of innings there and it cost us," Scott County coach Zach Pobst said. "You can't give them anymore than three outs in an inning or it will cost you."

Early on it looked like Scott County might run away from Kelso as its first seven batters of the contest reached base without surrendering an out. It was during this run that Post 369 collected four hits and a pair of walks to take a 5-0 advantage.

Undeterred, the Scappers slowly chipped away at their deficit before coming into the sixth frame trailing 8-6. A one-out error and a walk put a pair of runners on before a Ben Heuring single down the third base line closed Kelso within a run of Scott County.

Following another single to load the bases, the tying run was forced across the plate when Logan Heisserer was hit by a pitch. A walk to Christian Job in the next at-bat brought home another run to give the Scrappers their first lead of the night at 9-8.

"That was big," Kelso coach Larry Eftink said. "They helped us a little too. We'll take it. Anytime you get a 'W' it's good no matter how you got it."

With the one hour, 50 minute time limit on the game quickly winding down, Post 369 made one last push in the top of the sixth to at least tie things up.

Scrappers' reliever Graham Ruopp got a quick strikeout before Zach Carlyle was hit by a pitch to put the tying run on first. Following a ground out and a walk, a passed ball left Scott County's lead runner only 90-feet from tying the game.

Unfortunately for Post 369, a called third strike on the next hitter ended the inning with both runners stranded.

With the time limit already expired, the game was called before the Scrappers could bat in the bottom of the sixth.

"I thought we were going to come back and win it for a minute," Pobst said. "But they battled and their pitcher did a good job throwing a lot of strikes."

Coming in with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth, Graham earned the win. He held Post 369 without an earned run in 2 2/3 innings of work while giving up a hit and a walk and striking out five.

"It's never easy, but Graham did a nice job and got the strikeouts when we needed them," Eftink said.

Kelso's 10-hit effort was led by Logan Heisserer, who went 3 for 4 on the game with three singles and a run scored. Hulshof added two hits to the Scrappers' cause.

For Scott County, who had nine hits on the game, Dustin Genhardt was 2 for 3 while reaching in all four plate appearances. He drove in a pair of runs with two singles while also reaching on a walk and an error.

In the day's earlier contest, Scott County used an three-run first inning to pull out a 6-2 win. Post 369 held Jackson scoreless through the first five innings, going up 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Jackson finally got on the board with two runs on the sixth before one last Scott County run in the seventh made up the 6-2 final. In putting a pair of runners on with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Jackson made one effort to rally.

By getting a double play ball on a pop up to third, Post 369 was able to hold Jackson scoreless in the inning as one last fly out ended the game.

"They did well," Pobst said of his team. "Tyler Rogers did a great job pitching. He threw a complete game and shut (Jackson) down pretty well."

Scott County 501 200 - 8 9 5

Kelso 213 03x - 9 10 2

WP -- Graham Ruopp. LP -- Brent Forck. Multiple hitters -- (SC) Dustin Gebhardt 2-3; (K) Logan Heisserer 3-4, Derek Hulshof 2-4. 2B -- (SC) Zach Carlyle.