by Beau Wicker Sports Editor
---- — Logansport’s much anticipated baseball season opener went according to plan for the most part Wednesday at Twin Lakes.
The Berries, who started nine seniors in the game, were in command most of the way in an 11-5 win over the Indians.
The Berries outhit the Indians 11-4 for the contest and belted out five doubles. Marcus Record’s three-run home run in the seventh put an exclamation point on the victory.
“We played well, we’ve just got to pick it up for Friday,” Record said.
Logan coach Jim Turner planned on using three pitchers going in and it materialized on the field.
Clayton Frye (1-0) got the start and allowed one run (none earned) on two hits in three innings of work. The senior left-hander struck out four batters in the second inning alone and finished with seven strikeouts, all in the first two innings. When he exited the Berries led 8-1.
“I thought Clayton threw the ball hard,” Turner said.
The Berry trio of pitchers, Frye, Dustin Clements and Kyle Jordan, combined for 12 punchouts in the contest.
Clements struggled with his control a bit, walking a batter and hitting two with 0-2 curveballs. Cody Novaski took a good 1-2 slider to the opposite field for an RBI double in the fourth inning. Evan Luzadder followed with a two-run single to cut the Berry lead to 8-4.
“We weren’t sharp with our control. It just shows we’re not quite yet ready,” Turner said. “You hope for better but that’s probably what you’re going to get. You just need more games.”
The Indians added an unearned run in the fifth. First baseman Frye made a diving catch on a bunt attempt but threw to first on his back and the throw rolled down the right-field line allowing a run to score to make it 8-5.
“I shouldn’t have threw on my back,” Frye said, “but if I would have tried to have got up I wouldn’t have had a chance anyway so I just tried to make something happen.”
Clements avoided any further damage with back-to-back strikeouts. He allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits in two innings of work, striking out four.
Jordan closed out the game with two scoreless innings. He pitched around a leadoff walk in the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh, ending the game with a strikeout.
The Berries scored a run in the first when Jacob Shelton lifted a fly ball to left that was mishandled for an error allowing Frye to score. Jordan opened the second with a double and later scored on a balk to give the Berries a 2-1 lead.
The Berries batted around in the third and scored five runs to take a 7-1 lead. All of the runs came with two outs. Brad Nies hit an RBI double to left. Cooper Kinnaman followed with an RBI infield single. Chris Jones then hit a two-run double off the wall in right. Record followed with an RBI base hit that he stretched into a double.
Shelton hit a one-hop RBI double off the fence in the fourth inning to chase Twin Lakes starter Spencer Andrews to make it an 8-1 game.
Derick Roudebush relieved for the Indians and retired 11 of 12 batters he faced before back-to-back walks set up Record’s at-bat in the seventh. With two outs in the frame, Record blasted a three-run homer over the fence in left for the final margin.
The Berries struck out five times at the plate.
“It was the second time we’ve seen live pitching so far this year so we’ve just got to adjust,” Frye said. “It’s the first game so we’re just happy to get a win.”
The Berries compete in the Joe Heath Classic this weekend. They face Lafayette Jeff at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Loeb Stadium. They then play two games Saturday at McCutcheon, at 3 p.m. against Harrison and at 5:30 versus McCutcheon.
Cass at Clinton Prairie
The game was rescheduled for Friday due to a wet field.
Harrison 3, Logan 2
The Berries had the bases loaded with no outs with the tying run on third base but couldn’t push the run across in a loss at Harrison to open the season. The game was played at Harrison due to a wet Fincher Field but Logan did get the last at-bat.
The Berries pushed two runs across in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run single by Bailey Kelley but came up short as Harrison pitcher Kaitlynn Moody struck out three batters in a row to end the game.
“We tried to squeeze with our first two hitters but we just couldn’t get the bunt down and fouled it off,” Logan coach Jim Bacon said. “We tried four squeeze bunts in the game but couldn’t get the bunts down. We had one girl thrown out at home when we didn’t get it down.
“We had good bunts and moved the runners but we couldn’t get them down when we needed them. We had them on the ropes.”
Moody, a transfer from Lafayette Jeff, struck out 16 in the game.
“The first four innings that’s about all we did. We finally got going when we weren’t swinging at everything,” Bacon said.
Kristie Flora and Abbi Zartman each added a hit for the Berries.
Emily Prentice and Bailie Long pitched for Logan. Prentice threw the first four innings and allowed a run in the first. Long (0-1) allowed a run in the sixth and seventh innings.
“They got hits when they got runners on. Our defense played well,” Bacon said.
The Berries could play the Raiders (2-0) again at the end of the season at the Harrison Sectional.
“We’ll get them next time. The girls felt good about themselves afterwards. They knew we should have won the game,” Bacon said.
Delphi 8, Cass 6
The Kings dropped their season opener at Delphi.
Savanna Thompson had a double, triple and two RBIs for the Kings. Cheyenne Dittmaier had a single, double and an RBI. Alexa Humerickhouse added a pair of doubles.
Dittmaier took the loss. The Kings committed just one error in the game but it led to two unearned runs.