Raiders brave cold, stay hotApril 21, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG - The cold made its presence Wednesday night at League Stadium, but Southridge stayed hot.
The Raiders (7-2) won their fifth game in a row with a wire-to-wire 10-4 win against Evansville Memorial. Southridge scored two runs in the bottom of the first, thanks to a two-run single from senior Chase Taylor that scored fellow seniors Colson Montgomery and Camden Gasser. The Raiders never looked back.
Even though the Tigers attempted a comeback - scoring in the third, fourth and fifth innings, Southridge never allowed more than two runs in a single frame.
"We've worked a lot on defense in the last two weeks because we weren't very good early," Raiders coach Gene Mattingly said. "I knew we had in it us to be good, but we had to get reps. We needed reps, and so we've taken a lot more ground balls, we've done a lot more defensive work in our practices. So, hopefully we can build off this and play some clean baseball down the stretch."
Southridge's hurlers had to brave the cold, as the Raiders trotted out sophomore starter Mick Uebelhor, who got the win, senior Sam Sermersheim and junior Carson Niehaus. It wasn't always the easiest to locate pitches, as some spots were being missed during the night.
"I think both sides probably had a little trouble with their fingers being very dry and slick and having to be able to get their curveballs over for strikes," Mattingly said. "I think it probably played a part in it."
Uebelhor avoided the big inning against Memorial, as he proved to be another Southridge underclassman to hold his own, going four innings on the mound. Freshman Hudson Allen limited Evansville Christian when the Raiders run-ruled the Eagles, 16-1, on April 16. Mattingly commended his upperclassmen for leading the way and welcoming the younger players into the fold.
The Raiders made sure to jump on the Tigers early when they scored those two runs off of Taylor's single, and they pushed again in the second and third innings. Gasser turned an 0-2 count into an infield single to make it 3-0, and another senior, Konner Thyen, scored off Taylor's at-bat as Taylor reached on a fielder's choice.
They doubled their runs in the bottom of the third for an 8-1 lead against a Memorial team that entered this game at 7-3.
"I think our hitters had good approaches," Mattingly said. "They didn't swing at a bunch of stuff out of the zone, which is key for us. We got to swing at strikes, we didn't chase a lot of pitches, and it allowed us to do some things offensively that we were able to score some runs."
This was Southridge's first game in five days, and Mattingly thought the practice the Raiders had allowed them to play clean with no errors, but he still thinks they need to get better defensively because he thought they didn't make some plays that they should've made.
The Raiders will try to get better at that, and also snag their sixth win in a row Thursday at Pocket Athletic Conference rival North Posey.
"We can't get behind in counts, they're a good team," Mattingly said. "We got to throw strike one early and take advantage of any mistakes they might make - and be aggressive."
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