TOUGH TO HANDLE: Southwestern’s Nathan Williams races toward first base as the ball scoots by a diving Switzerland County third baseman Kyle Konkle (above) during the fifth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game in Hanover. Pacers catcher Trent Jones has a hard time handling the throw as Southwestern’s Adam Jackson slides into home plate during the fourth inning with Darius Whitson-Spegal and umpire Scott Davidson watching the play unfold. The Rebels ran away with a 12-2 win. (Staff photos by David Hill)
TOUGH TO HANDLE: Southwestern’s Nathan Williams races toward first base as the ball scoots by a diving Switzerland County third baseman Kyle Konkle (above) during the fifth inning of Tuesday’s baseball game in Hanover. Pacers catcher Trent Jones has a hard time handling the throw as Southwestern’s Adam Jackson slides into home plate during the fourth inning with Darius Whitson-Spegal and umpire Scott Davidson watching the play unfold. The Rebels ran away with a 12-2 win. (Staff photos by David Hill)
Senior Night ended up being one to remember for the Southwestern Rebels, who broke open a close game with 10 runs in their final three at-bats for a 12-2 mercy-rule thumping of border rival Switzerland County Wednesday in Hanover.

Each of Southwestern's seven seniors - Darius Whitson-Spegal, Cory O'Neal, Mackenzy Withered, Caleb Rogers, Brad Sims, Nathan Williams and Michael Baker-Conover - contributed in the win.

"It was a great job by our seniors tonight," Southwestern coach Derik Hutton said. "Everybody got involved. It was a great win for us against a quality team."

Southwestern starting pitcher Tristan Embs went the distance, allowing just three hits and only one walk with no strikeouts. Only one of Switzerland County's runs were earned.

"Tristan throws strikes and is a quick worker," Hutton said. "He was able to get out of some jams that were started by fielding miscues." Embs retired the side in order in the fifth - the final inning.

Hutton was happy with his team's hitting. "We're really aggressive with the bats when we hit the ball hard on the ground," he said.

Switzerland County coach Chad Combs gave the Rebels credit for a well-played contest.

"They hit the ball well - you have to tip your hat," Combs said. "But we didn't help ourselves. We have to eliminate our fielding and mental errors and errors on the basepaths before sectionals start next week."

The Rebels drew first blood when they scored a pair of runs in the first inning. Whitson-Spegal walked to lead off the game and O'Neal reached on an error. Withered drove Whitson-Spegal in with a base hit and, moments later, Rogers drove in O'Neal on a ground-out.

Switzerland County scored its first run in the second without benefit of a hit. Starting pitcher Bob Tressler reached on an error and went to second on a wild pitch before scoring on another error.

Neither team scored in the next two half-innings before the Rebels made it a 3-1 game in the third. O'Neal reached on an error and later scored on an errant throw.

Switzerland County had an opportunity to climb back in the contest in the fourth inning when it loaded the bases twice and came up with just one run. Kyle Konkle led off with a walk before the next batter, Collin Burgess, grounded to second. Konkle slid into second and knocked the ball loose to break up a double play. A bunt single by Tressler loaded the bases. Tanner Jones then lashed a hard hit single that scored Konkle.

The Pacers were unable to advance runners on a pop-out to shortstop, and a baserunning error left the bases full on a fly-out to center fielder Baker-Conover, who made a running grab of a flare off the bat of Nelson Hughes. After the run didn't score, Embs got out of the jam by inducing Jordan Hunter to hit into a ground-out.

Southwestern's ability to get out of the jam almost unscathed brought fire to its offense, as the Rebels broke loose for a five-run fourth inning. The big hit of the inning was a two-run single by designated hitter Nathan Williams.

After Switzerland County went down quietly in the top of the fifth and the Rebels put the game to bed in the bottom of the frame by sending nine men to the plate to get the four runs necessary to invoke the mercy rule.

Williams had another run-scoring single, Whitson-Spegal drove in a pair with a base hit and Embs singled to right field for the final play of the game.

The Pacers now prepare for next week's sectional tournament at South Ripley. They'll take on Milan Thursday.

Southwestern, after finishing its season Friday at Milan, will meet Austin Wednesday, also at South Ripley.

Shawe can't recover from one bad inning to Raiders

One really bad inning doomed Shawe baseball on Wednesday as the Hilltoppers fell 15-0 in an Ohio River Valley Conference matchup at South Ripley.

After Shawe turned a rare triple play in the bottom of the first to get out of a jam, the Raiders came back with an offensive explosion in the bottom of the second, scoring 14 runs on 11 hits to lead 14-0.

South Ripley added one more run in the bottom of the third for the eventual final 15-0 score in five innings.

Shawe had five hits in the game. David Grote, Jesse Ball, Luke Higgins, Jordan Chandler and Grayson Rhoten each had a hit.

South Ripley pounded out 14 hits in the contest, including seven for extra-bases. Jason Dilk was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. Joe Dicken, Logan Linkmeyer, Austin Halcomb and Cody Jackson had two hits each. Ryan Lengerich, J.C. Boyken and Caleb Huntington each had a base hit.

Chandler was tagged with the loss on the mound for the Hilltoppers. The senior threw one and two-thirds innings, giving up 14 runs - 12 earned - on 10 hits while walking three.

Jackson picked up the victory on the hill for the Raiders. Jackson threw a complete game five innings, giving up five hits while walking one and striking out four.

The Shawe triple play unfolded when Shawe first baseman Kyle Daugherty speared a laser line drive by South Ripley's Jason Dilk with Raider baserunners at first and second running on the play. Daugherty stepped on first and threw to second to record to catch both off base for the triple kill.

Shawe (11-9, 5-5 ORVC) hosts Madison today.