Raiders run-rule Tecumseh

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Southridge coach Gene Mattingly (10) talks to junior Carter Whitehead (11) during an at-bat on Tuesday against Tecumseh. The Raiders run-ruled the Braves, 14-4, in the bottom of the sixth, in their 2021 home opener at League Stadium.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG - Southridge kicked it into high drive in the final two innings of its 14-4 10-run slaughter rule win of Tecumseh on Tuesday at League Stadium.

The Raiders (2-1, 1-0) broke out by totaling nine runs combined runs in the bottom of the fifth and bottom of the sixth. Southridge showed aggression at the plate and on the base paths that contributed to the run-rule win. Carter Whitehead knocked in Blake Taylor to bring the team’s home opener to its final score.

“We started swinging at good pitches, put a lot of pressure on their defense with our run game,” Raiders coach Gene Mattingly said. “We want to be super-aggressive on the bases — we finally started being more aggressive and not as tentative at the plate. So, our offense should be able to do that. You got to be able to put crooked numbers up.”

Southridge crossed the plate one time each in the bottom of the first and bottom of the second, taking a 2-0 lead after the first two frames. The Raiders were aggressive — running often on Braves starter Jacob Farmer. Colson Montgomery and Whitehead got themselves in scoring position via the steal in the first and second innings, respectively.

Chase Taylor lined a rocket that dropped into the outfield, bringing home Montgomery with two outs in the bottom of the first, and Whitehead stealing both second and third allowed Sam Sermersheim to give the Raiders insurance.

“We put a lot of effort and a lot of focus in our practice and our training on being able to read pitches, read pitchers — and everybody’s got the green light,” Mattingly said. “We don’t have a steal sign. Everybody’s on go — if they get a good jump, they’re free to go.

“We’re trying to get them to play aggressive, trust their instincts, learn what their limitations are, fail a little bit early in the year — and they’ll know by the time tournament comes what they can and can’t do,” he continued.

Tecumseh tied it in the top of the third when two runs scored off the bat of JD Dupont, and an error was charged to the Raiders. However, starter Konner Thyen and the Southridge defense behind him limited the Braves to just those two runs, as the Raiders escaped a bases loaded jam before Tecumseh could take the lead.

Thyen and crew also dealt with runners at first and second with nobody out in the top of the first before denying Tecumseh any runs in that frame. Thyen earned the win for Southridge.

“He was able to breathe through it,” Mattingly said of Thyen. “He was able to get to center and be present, and he was able to then focus on the zone and do his job.”

Southridge made sure the game wasn’t tied for long, though. Hudson Allen retook the lead for Southridge when he double to left field brought home Taylor. The Raiders had the bags full with two outs when Montgomery found a hole to the right side to bring home Allen and Sermersheim for a 5-2 Southridge lead.

The Braves scored a run in both the top of the fifth and top of the sixth, but the Raiders responded to put the run-rule in effect. Southridge boasted many notable moments in those final two innings, such as Taylor knocking in Montgomery and Camden Gasser in the bottom of the fifth. Ethan Bell drove in Brayson Fuhs and Montgomery for an 11-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth, and Gasser stole home later in the inning.

Southridge is set to get right back to things Wednesday with another home game against Castle. It will be the second of three consecutive days with a game for the Raiders, who are also scheduled to on Thursday to play at PAC and county rival Forest Park.

“They’ll be physically ready,” Mattingly said. “The question’s going to be whether they can bounce back mentally and be prepared after a nice conference win. A game in between another conference opponent — Forest Park, they’re (a) very good and very talented team. If we look past Castle to Forest Park and worry about conference — Castle will come in here and do to us what we just did to Tecumseh. They’ll end it early, they’re really good. So, we have to be ready to play tomorrow, just like we were today.”




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com