by Beau Wicker
Logansport’s baseball team could not have gotten off to a much better start to the postseason.
Marcus Record hit a leadoff home run, Kyle Jordan took a perfect game into the fifth inning and the Berries rolled to a 9-3 win over Kokomo on Wednesday in the first game of the Class 4A Lafayette Jeff Sectional at Loeb Stadium.
Logan (19-9) faces Harrison (14-15) in a semifinal at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Kokomo finishes 13-14.
“They’re a good team,” Kokomo coach Tim Weeks said of the Berries. “Like I told [coach] Jim [Turner] at the end of the game, they got hot at the right time. They’re hot. They can hit the ball, they can pitch the ball, they can field the ball. The sky is the limit for them. When a team gets hot like that, who knows.”
Jordan didn’t allow a base runner until a bloop single by Bo Baker with one out in the fifth. The senior right-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks in a complete-game effort, striking out six.
“I came in focused. I knew I had a no-hitter going until the fifth, so I was really focused then,” said Jordan, adding when he lost the perfect game, “It didn’t bother me. I was still focused, I was still doing my thing.”
Following his single, Baker took second on an error on a pickoff attempt and scored on an RBI single by Ben Tracy on a liner to left, and all of a sudden it was a 2-1 game.
But the Berries answered in the bottom of the frame with a six-run inning. They executed very well during the rally, getting a sacrifice bunt down by Travis Palmer, a perfect hit-and-run single by Jacob Shelton through the vacated side, a bunt single by Palmer and an RBI infield single by Dustin Clements. Clayton Frye added an RBI single up the middle and Chris Jones delivered the big blow with a three-run double down the left-field line that made it a 7-1 game. Record, who started the inning with a walk, later added an RBI single to make it 8-1.
Jesse Johnson and Isaac Turner led off the sixth with back-to-back doubles for the Wildkats, and Turner later scored on a sac fly by Jared Dill to make it 8-3.
Logan added a run in the sixth on Clements’ second RBI single of the game. Xavier Luna had an RBI single on a liner off the pitcher in the second that gave the Berries an early 2-0 lead.
Adam Bartholomew defeated Logan 4-3 in the regular season and was coming off a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Anderson on Saturday. The junior right-hander allowed eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings, striking out one on Wednesday.
“I thought Adam did a pretty good job,” Weeks said. “He didn’t get the help you always need because he couldn’t get out of a couple situations but he battled through.”
Turner praised Jordan’s effort.
“He was on top of his game there. He was really, really strong,” he said. “He started laboring there a little bit in the sixth. He started tiring a little bit. His curveball wasn’t as sharp. But he just reaches back and finds a little bit more and pulls it out really well.”
Logan defeated Harrison 11-1 in the third game of the season at the Joe Heath Classic.
“That doesn’t mean anything at this point. They’re a much better ballclub than that,” Turner said. “We’ve been able to do that because we can score some runs, we can get going. Certainly in this type of situation it’s very unlikely that kind of thing happens. They’ve got a good No. 1 pitcher and I’m sure they’ll give us all we can handle.”
In other first-round games today, McCutcheon faces Western at 5:30 p.m., followed by Marion vs. Lafayette Jeff. The winners will play Saturday following the Logan-Harrison game. The final is at 7 p.m. on Monday.