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HS baseball: Southwestern sweeps Routt in doubleheader, reaches seven wins in eight games

Gillespie overpowers Nokomis

By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Southwestern High School baseball team continued to showcase championship toughness in many ways during a key doubleheader against Routt Catholic last week.

The Piasa Birds swept the high-powered Rockets and concluded the month of March with a 7-1 record in their first eight contests.

Against all odds, Colin LeMarr didn’t even have to swing the bat to get a walkoff hit in game one. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even get a chance to do so.

With the bases loaded and the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, the first pitch LeMarr saw struck him in the ribs, scoring the winning run and sealing a 4-3 victory. This capped off a two-out rally that featured back-to-back singles courtesy of Logan Keith and Logan Crane, followed by a walk to Rocky Darr. The Birds additionally made a key defensive play in the top half of the frame when they caught one of Routt’s players trying to steal third after a leadoff double. This made a huge difference, because the very next batter hit a double of his own that would’ve resulted in an RBI. Instead, he was left stranded as Southwestern ace Marcus Payne took advantage of the major break and worked out of the jam.

Payne completed all eight innings for the Birds without a walk, surrendering three runs on 10 hits while compiling six strikeouts as part of a 103-pitch effort.

LeMarr was obviously shaken up on the HBP as his teammates came over to congratulate him, but the Southwestern senior ultimately wouldn’t be slowed by the pain. He, along with Darr and Ryan Lowis, went a combined 7-for-11 with five RBI at the top of the lineup, helping boost the Birds to a 12-8 win in game two. LeMarr was the top performer with a team-high three hits and two runs driven in. Hunter Newell also contributed a pair of hits and Payne plated two runs.

Adam Hale allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out four over six innings of work from the mound. Lowis sealed the victory with a two-out save after the Rockets had pushed across six rally tallies in the bottom of the seventh.

Gillespie overpowers Nokomis

The Gillespie Miners scored 11 unanswered runs and picked up a dominant 11-3 win at Nokomis Mar. 27.

Luke Schuckenbrock went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. Bryce Buhs added two hits and a team-high three RBI while crossing the plate twice.

Colin Griffith swiped two bases and was one of four other Miners to contribute one RBI apiece, along with Shuckenbrock, Jack Kaylor, Jesse Berry and Carson Hailstone.

Gillespie is 7-3 on the year.

Other action

Bunker Hill traded five-run punches with Hillsboro in the seventh inning but fell to 3-4 with a tough 7-6 home loss Mar. 27.

Staunton came up empty-handed in a tri-fecta of games, losing to Hillsboro 5-4 Mar. 25, Calhoun 10-0 Mar. 27 and Litchfield 3-2 in ten innings Mar. 28. The Bulldogs are 3-9.

North Mac grinded out a 10-7 road win at PORTA Mar. 27 but got shut down by Jerseyville, 11-1, at home the next day. The Panthers are 3-5 overall.

Carlinville’s winless streak grew to six games as the Cavaliers fell to Jerseyville 10-0 Mar. 26, Pawnee 10-3 Mar. 27 and Williamsville 15-3 Mar. 28.