Big-hitting Raiders swat away any risk of letdown

By JOHN PATISHNOCK
Herald Sports Writer

HUNTINGBURG — The Southridge baseball team needed a break. A rest. A breather.

After upending longtime rivals Forest Park and South Spencer within the last week, Southridge didn’t just want a respite — the Raiders deserved one.

Thursday night at League Stadium, they got it.

Southridge dispatched Pike Central 15-0 in five innings, decimating shaky Charger pitching with nonstop shots to the gap. This victory followed wins against the Rangers and Rebels, both of whom the Raiders beat recently for the first time since 2002.

“I was afraid after those two games that something could have happened where we could have possibly had a letdown,” Southridge coach Brad Wibbeler said.

It didn’t happen. The first five batters for Southridge (7-5, 3-1 Pocket Athletic Conference) scored, as the Raiders posted five runs in the first, one in the second and nine in the third, amassing nine hits and taking advantage of five errors by Pike Central (5-4, 0-2).

“We relaxed, we came ready to play,” said right fielder Nathan Tretter, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. “We have been better about it this year than we have in the past.”

In the first inning, Tretter drove a pitch between the pitcher’s legs to drive in a run, Blake Nordhoff drew a bases-loaded walk, Dillion Ramsey contributed a sacrifice fly and Cody Moesner and Nordhoff both scored when Pike Central’s left fielder dropped a fly ball off Ben Weber’s bat.

“The pitcher, he was bringing it but I stayed back on it and just did what I could with the ball,” said Tretter, who plated another run with an opposite-field single in the third.

Connor Craig scored on a throwing error in the second before Southridge brought 14 batters to the plate in the third.

Luke Stetter and Jacob Brewer each ripped a two-run double, Moesner supplied a sac fly and Guadalupe Perez added a run-scoring single.

Brewer (1-1) also picked up the win, not allowing a hit in three innings.

“He was in the zone for the most part,” Wibbeler said. “His breaking ball was breaking — it always breaks good — but tonight it was exceptional.”

Brewer struck out three and ended each of the first two innings with strikeouts he accomplished with his curve ball.

“My curve ball’s developed a lot, my location’s a lot better,” Brewer said.

Perez tossed the fourth and Craig pitched the fifth for the Raiders; the trio of Raider pitchers held the Chargers to one hit.

Next up for Southridge is another home game at 7 tonight versus Crawford County. Wibbeler noted it’s possible to have Brewer come back since he pitched only three innings Thursday night. Brewer or not, Southridge will be ready.  

“We got on them early; no matter who we’re playing, we still want to come out ready to play, no matter what and we did that tonight,” Wibbeler said. “Guys were being aggressive at the plate and it paid off, we took advantage of their walks and whenever they threw strikes in the zone, we hit it.”

Contact John Patishnock at jpatishnock@dcherald.com.




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