By Don Brown
March 26, 2014
It was a case of there being good news and bad news concerning the Cougars’ baseball game last Friday evening against the visiting Daviess County Panthers at Don Lee Field.
The good news was that a pair of Cougar pitchers allowed just one earned run in seven innings of work against the Panthers. Starting pitcher, senior Jameson Van Meter, went five innings, allowing five hits, walking no one, striking out six and giving up just the lone, unearned run.
Junior lefty Wyatt Skaggs entered the game in the sixth inning and pitched two strong innings. Skaggs allowed just one hit and struck out five of the seven batters he faced.
The bad news was that Panther right-hander Stewart Currie was nearly unhittable. Currie pitched a one-hit, shutout gem for the visitors, allowing them to head back to Owensboro with the 1-0 win. Currie retired the last 12 Cougar batters in a row.
The Cougars had men on base in each of the first four innings, but could not get the big hit they needed to break through against Currie.
Logan Ramsey led off the first inning and reached first on an error, but was erased when Van Meter grounded into a double play. Skaggs walked, but Alex Shellhart grounded out to end the inning.
In the second, the Cougars put runners at second and third with two outs, but designated hitter Corbin Harris flew out to left to end the inning.
With one out in the third inning, Van Meter placed a ball into short right field that fell for the Cougars’ only hit. Van Meter was forced at second on a ground ball by Skaggs for the second out before Shellhart grounded out to end the inning.
An error and a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Turner put Logan Stevenson at second base with just one out in the fourth inning, but Currie struck out Dylan Yaden, then got Chance England to ground out to end the threat.
Those last two outs in the fourth inning were the start of Currie’s run of consecutive outs. The Cougars went 1-2-3 in each of the final three innings.
Van Meter worked out of jams in the first four innings as the Panthers put runners in scoring position in each inning. He started well in the fifth, retiring shortstop Jed Arend for the first out. The next batter, second-baseman Jonathan Powell hit a chopper to Yaden at short which should have been the second out of the inning, but Powell was safe when Yaden could not handle it.
Right-fielder Nelson Dant followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second. Van Meter then struck out John Stratton for the second out of the inning, but gave up a single to first-baseman Andrew Hayden that drove in Powell with the game’s only run. Van Meter got the next batter to fly out to end the inning, but the damage had been done.