The Switzerland County Pacer varsity baseball team had a big week, advancing to the second round of the Madison Courier Invitational Tournament and earning a conference win.
In the opening round of the MCIT, the Pacers defeated Madison Shawe by a score of 8-2. In the process, Pacer hurler Casper Stow earned his first varsity win on the mound.
The sophomore went the full seven innings, striking out 10 and allowing nine hits and two earned runs.
Shawe, playing on their home field but designated as the visiting team for the tournament, picked up their two runs in the top of the first inning.
After that, Stow’s pitching shut them down.
Switzerland County answered with three runs in the bottom of the first on singles by Stow, Matt Roland, Jacob Turner and Ryan Brubaker; a walk by Zack Whitaker; and then Dalton Roark was hit by a pitch.
The Pacers added two more runs in the second as a result of three Hilltopper errors; and also picked up single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
The final margin was six runs, 8-2, and advanced Switzerland County into the second round of the tourney.
Offensively, Stow led there, as well, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Brubaker was 2-for-2; Roland was 1-for-2 with an RBI; Turner and Kyle Whitham were both 1-for-2; and Justin Johnson was 1-for-3.
In the second round of the tournament, the Pacers fell to a strong Austin team by a score of 12-0.
Stow led off the game with a single but little else went right for Switzerland County (3-4) in the 12-0 loss.
Austin scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead; then scored five more runs in the second to take a commanding lead. The Eagle offense continued to roll, getting three more runs in the fourth before adding two more in the sixth to finish off he game.
Switzerland County couldn’t put much together offensively, with Casper Stow going 1-for-2 with a walk; Zack Whitaker going 1-for-3; and Dalton Roark was 1-for-2.
Matt Roland started on the mound and went three innings, allowing eight hits and 10 runs, but only three of the runs were earned. He struck out two.
Austin South pitched the final two innings, striking out four while allowing one hit and two runs.
After the second game, the rains came to the area; washing out the consolation game that Switzerland County was to play against Madison.
Austin and South Central will play the championship game at the convenience of the two schools.
On Monday night the Pacers continued their outstanding season with a 6-3 conference win over Southwestern.
Zack Whitaker went the distance on the mound, dominating the game, as he struck out five, allowed just three hits, and surrendered three runs, but only two were earned.
The Rebels got off to a quick lead with a single run in the top of the first; and Southwestern then added two more in the top of the fifth to go up by three.
Switzerland County responded in the bottom of the fifth, as the Pacer bats got rolling and Coach Chad Combs used some old school play to take the lead.
With runners on, Pacer Justin Johnson laid down a squeeze bunt that ended up scoring two runs and tying the game in the fifth; and soon after Douglas Ray stole home to add an insurance run.
After holding the Rebels scoreless in the sixth, the Pacers got two more in the bottom of the sixth; and the defense then held Southwestern scoreless again in the seventh to secure the victory.
Johnson had the big sacrifice, and also scored a run and had an RBI; Whitaker was 1-for-4 with an RBI; Casper Stow was 1-for-2 with a stolen base; Dalton Roark scored a run; Ray was 1-for-3 with two runs scored; Ryan Brubaker was 1-for-2 with a run scored; Kyle Whitham was 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI; and Jacob Turner was 1-for-2 with an RBI.