Spartans rack up the wins

The St. Joseph-Ogden Spartan baseball team took a pair of games from ,future conference foe Olympia on April 22, winning by scores of 6-0 and 3-0.

In game one, senior Mason Coon toed the rubber for the Spartans, and after pitching earlier in the week, was held to a pitch count to comply with the new IHSA rules for pitchers.

Coon struck out eleven Olympia batters, and helped his own cause by driving in the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, the only run that the Spartans would need in the game.

“It was a little rough out there today with the wind and the colder temperatures, but I battled, and started to get some strikeouts, and with the tailing wind, it helped me out quite a bit in that respect,” Coon said following the game.

Colton Hale, another senior, had two doubles and four runs batted in, one of those coming in the four run fifth inning that broke the scoreless tie.

Brant Hoveln also had an RBI in that inning, driving in Hale with the fourth run.  Hale would also double in two more with the bases loaded in the next inning, to account for SJO’s six runs.

Regarding the new rules for pitch counts, Spartans head coach Josh Haley knows that there is a certain strategy involved in making it work.

“We always give our players adequate rest, but for us now, it’s that second start in the four-day cycle where, when they pitch 95 or 96 pitches in the first game, they are capped at 90 in the second outing, so you need to have someone available on the back end for that purpose,” Haley said after the game on the new rule and how he approaches his rotation.

Adam Rose came in with one out in the top of the seventh inning to finish the game and preserve the win for Coon (4-1). Spencer Smith took the loss for Olympia.

In the second game, Rose returned to the bump for SJO, and despite an error to begin the game, he escaped the inning with no damage.  Reece Fink took the hill for Olympia in game two.

The game remained scoreless in a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel until the bottom of the fourth, when SJO took advantage of an Olympia miscue, as Colton Hale scored the Spartans’ first run of the game.  Mason Coon added to the lead, as he singled to score Jaden Miller from third to make it 2-0 SJO.

The Spartans used their defense to thwart a scoring attempt by Olympia in the top of the sixth on an attempted steal of second, shortstop Austin Cain took the throw and made a perfect strike home to Hoveln to nail the Spartan runner that was trying to score for the third out of the inning.

SJO added another run in the bottom of the sixth inning to increase their lead to 3-0.

For Rose, he struck out eight in the complete game shutout, as the Spartans improve to 16-5 with the doubleheader sweep.

April 10
St. Joseph-Ogden 5, Oakwood 3. Jake Schlueter (2-0) scattered four hits and struck out six for the Spartans (10-2), who edged the visiting Comets (4-4-1). Closer Austin Cain earned his third save. Brant Hoveln’s fourth-inning double drove in the go-ahead run for SJ-O.

April 11
St. Joseph-Ogden 7, Unity 4. Tyler Slagley broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the seventh with a two-run double to lift the visiting Spartans (11-2) to an Okaw Valley Conference win. Mason Coon added 10 strikeouts in six innings of work for SJ-O. Zach Spencer (2 for 3) and Kyle Cooper (1 for 3) each drove in two runs for the Rockets (7-7).

April 15
St. Joseph-Ogden 16-1, Quincy Notre Dame 6-14. Jake Schlueter (3-1) struck out six and picked up the first-game win at Illinois-Springfield. Mason Coon had three hits and knocked in two runs. Coon’s solo homer was one of three hits for SJ-O (13-3) in Game 2.

April 18
Rantoul 1, St. Joseph-Ogden 0. Nolan Roseman delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Okaw Valley Conference game’s only run as the host Eagles (8-8) received a two-hit shutout from Adam Crites. Colton Hale struck out six in six innings for the Spartans (13-5).

April 20
St. Joseph-Ogden 10, Rantoul 4. Jake Schlueter pitched a four-hit shutout, and Mason Coon, Brant Hoveln and Austin Cain each had two hits for the Spartans (14-5) in a game played at St. Joseph. The Eagles fell to 8-9 on the season.
April 25
St. Joseph-Ogden 14, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 0. Brant Hoveln went 4 for 4 with four RBI, and the Spartans put up nine runs in the sixth inning to end the contest. Colton Hale threw 12 strikeouts in the win.

April 27
St. Joseph-Ogden 13, Salt Fork 2. Jake Schlueter fired a complete-game four-hitter and struck out eight batters for the Spartans (18-5). Colton Hale had two hits, including a grand slam. The Storm fell to 6-16.

May 2
St. Joseph-Ogden 1, St. Thomas More 0. Jesse Schlueter drove in the game’s only run with a fourth-inning single, while Mason Coon and Colton Hale made that stand up for the host Spartans (19-5) in an OVC win. Coon struck out 10 in six innings before Hale struck out the side in the seventh for the save.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Baseball, Sports


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