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Baseball notes: County rivals respect each other

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By Andrew Harner

Vandalia coach Luke Hohlt and South Central coach Curt Jones both had positive things to say about their opponents after Monday’s game.

Jones, a veteran coach who has seen Vandalia play for many years and coached Hohlt during summer baseball years ago, said he could “by far” see drastic improvement in the Vandals’ approach.

“When I was watching them take infield, I said, ‘This is a pretty good looking group,’” Jones said. “Luke is obviously doing a great job with them.

“They had some mistakes today (four errors), but overall, they are pretty solid,” he said. “There’s a huge improvement (with them).”

For Hohlt, however, he knew he was facing the same South Central team as always.

“They are going to play solid defense, throw strikes and put the ball in the play,” Hohlt said. “They’re just a solid baseball team.”

The Vandals had the Cougars on the ropes for awhile, leading 5-2 early on, but an eight-run inning in the sixth gave South Central what it needed to take the 11-5 victory.

Round-trippers
Vandalia junior Michael Wells hit his first career varsity home run last Thursday at Shelbyville.

With a single against South Central on Monday, he extended his hitting streak to four games, which is the longest active streak on the team.

South Central's Larry Schoreck homered in Monday's game for his first of the season.

Multi-man
South Central senior Cole Armstrong had three singles against Vandalia, giving him his eighth multi-hit game of the season in 13 games.

Defense
A player from each team made a nice defensive play during Monday’s game.

South Central senior Luke Krajefska caught a foul pop-up from Vandalia senior Trevor Montgomery by reaching over the fence along the first-base side.

Vandals junior Dalton Wehrle then got revenge, making a running catch on a fly ball hit by Krajefska in the sixth.

New venue
Monday's game was originally scheduled to be played at South Central, but due to wet grounds at Lions Field in Kinmundy, the game was played in Vandalia.

Jones said there was a large puddle behind third base that prevented the game from being played.

He was very impressed by the improvements that have been made to Vandalia's diamond that made the field playable despite so much rain the night before.

Rain out
Vandalia's game against East Alton-Wood River last Friday was rained out, and it has been rescheduled for Tuesday.