by Beau Wicker
A year ago Logansport’s baseball team had a tough-luck loss to Lafayette Jeff in sectional play. The Berries had to watch from the sidelines as the Bronchos made a run to the semistate championship game.
Fast-forward to this year and it is the Berries with the older team as the Bronchos are dealing with heavy losses to graduation.
Friday night’s annual early season meeting to kick off the Joe Heath Classic was no contest, as the Berries rolled to a 16-0 win in five innings over the Bronchos.
You might have to go deep into the record books to see a more lopsided score against Jeff in baseball.
“You can see the confidence on the kids’ faces,” Logan coach Jim Turner said. “This is a group that doesn’t lack for confidence. They’ve been playing together. This is a close group. They like the game and they come to play. They’re a hard-nosed bunch.”
Kyle Jordan went 3-for-3 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs for the Berries (2-0). Marcus Record homered in his second straight game and had two hits and three RBIs. Dustin Clements doubled twice and finished with five RBIs.
Clayton Frye and Jacob Shelton also had multi-hit games for Logan, which pounded out 13 base hits including seven for extra bases.
Meanwhile, Travis Palmer tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out three before the game was ended by mercy rule.
“Travis Palmer threw 60-some percent strikes. He was hard to hit, he was around the plate,” Turner said.
The Berries’ defense was flawless, and Jordan made a nice play deep in the hole in short for the final out of the game.
“It felt good being out there for being the first time of the year. The first time facing live batters other than practice,” said Palmer (1-0). “I felt pretty solid, I had good placement and the curveball was moving pretty well.
“We hit the crap out of the ball too. That helped me a lot, helped my confidence being able to throw strikes. I feel pretty good about it.”
Jordan and Record made early reservations for Arni’s via Mr. Rawlings with their bombs over the left field wall at Loeb Stadium.
Jordan’s shot opened a four-run second inning for the Berries. Record, Frye and Shelton later had RBI singles.
The Berries erupted for eight runs in the fourth. Shelton had an RBI single and Clements cleared the bases with a three-run RBI double down the left field line. Jordan followed with an RBI double over the center fielder’s head. Cooper Kinnaman had an RBI sac fly to make it 10-0 before Record’s two-run shot.
The Berries scored four more runs in the fifth. Clements and Jordan again had back-to-back doubles that scored runs. Kinnaman added an RBI ground out.
“I had a couple bad at-bats to start the game, but once I got going I started feeling good,” Clements said. “We came ready to play so it was a good game.”
Brad Nies added a base hit and two runs scored and Palmer scored a pair of runs to help his own cause.
The Berries play two today at McCutcheon, starting with Harrison at 3 p.m. and McCutcheon at 5:30.
“We’re ready for the weekend,” Palmer said. “Harrison is going to be good. They had a bunch of sophomores last year. McCutcheon’s going to be tough but I think we can do it.”