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By LARRY GOFFINET
HUNTINGBURG—South Spencer amassed 16 hits to beat Perry Central 11-1 in the Class 2A baseball sectional first round Thursday.
The Rebels hit four long fly balls for extra-base hits, including an inside-the-park homer by Charleston Roberts and a triple and a double by Tyler Schneider. The inexperienced Perry Central outfielders had trouble judging them.
“We’ve kind of struggled there a little bit,” said Perry Central Coach Phil Zellers.
“There were some balls that probably should have been caught,” said South Spencer Coach Brian Kuester. “But we hit some very hard and there was a swirling wind that makes it harder to catch them.”
The Rebels scored their first run in the first inning without a hit. Kobe Stephens was hit by a pitch, stole second base and continued to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on a wild pitch.
With two outs in that inning, Schneider hit a liner that got past the center fielder for a triple. Roberts followed with an RBI single to right.
Nathan Kuester’s two-run double to center capped a three-run second inning for the Rebels.
Roberts hit his homer in the third inning and Schneider hit an RBI double in a three-run fourth.
Commodore outfielders got better on the deep flies as the game progressed, with right fielder Logan Dauby and center fielder Alton Cummings each making a nice catch on one.
The Commodores also turned two double plays on the infield. In the fifth inning third baseman Michael Sims fielded a hard grounder, stepped on third, and fired to first for the out there.
With the bases loaded in the sixth, pitcher Tanner Cassidy fielded a hard shot to start a 1-2-3 double play.
But the Commodores couldn’t generate enough offense to get back in the game.
They struck out only two times against Rebel ace Brandon Lehr and had eight hits, but they were all singles.
South Spencer catcher Kuester picked two of their runners off first base, including one with the bases loaded in the sixth to end the game.
Cummings and Austin Linne each had two hits for the Commodores. Cummings drove in their only run with a single to right in the second inning.
Cassidy pitched a complete game for Perry Central. He gave up 16 hits—some tainted—and five walks and struck out two.
“Tanner threw a pretty good game,” said Zellers.
Perry Central, with a mostly underclassman team, finished the season 4-18.
South Spencer advanced to the semifinals with a 17-8 record.