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Vandals blanked by Comets 10-0 in five innings

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By Jonathan Stark

For only the second time all season, the Vandalia baseball team was short-gamed, falling to Greenville 10-0 in five innings on Monday.

There wasn’t much good to say about Monday’s loss to the Comets. Trevor Montgomery was roughed up on the mound, lasting only 2 1/3 innings on the hill, giving up eight runs (six earned) on five hits. Montgomery struggled with control, as he hit four batters and walked two.

Vandalia had only one hit, a single by Dathan Berning in the top of the fifth. Not only was Vandalia’s offense, defense (two errors) and pitching not up to snuff. It's base running was also troublesome. Of the handful of baserunners the Vandals had all night, two of them where picked off.

“It’s just not very smart,” Vandalia coach Luke Hohlt said. “[Greenville] had a good pickoff move to second, I don’t know where we’re going there anyway. (At firstbase) we got thrown over to at least once, maybe twice and then we get picked off. I mean, what are we doing there?”

Following the loss, Hohlt was upset about his team’s performance.

“I just got the sense that we put it on cruise control today,” Hohlt said. “I’m disappointed in our reaction. Not many guys are upset about the loss, and that’s not what I was looking for at all. We’ve got a lot of work to do, mentally, for sure.

“We’ve got two weeks left in the year. If we are going to go on cruise control, we’ll just bring the lower kids up and we’ll get ready for next year. I know a lot of those guys aren’t on cruise; they’re just now getting going,” Hohlt said.

Vandalia is on the diamond again Thursday hosting Mater Dei at 4:15 p.m. The Vandals will be on the road Friday at Litchfield at 4:15 and at Carlyle on Saturday at 10 a.m. for a doubleheader.

They play their final home game of the season Monday against Marquette at 4:15 p.m.

“I’m going to give these guys one more opportunity to look like they want to be out there, and then we’ll start bringing kids up and get going,” Hohlt said. “If they’re not thinking about right now, I have to think about the future.”

Vandalia is 8-14 overall, 4-4 in the SCC with six regular season games remaining, three of which are conference games, and the Ish Smith Classic at Greenville to end the year.

Vandalia 8

Pana 1

Vandalia defeated conference foe Pana for the second time this season on Thursday.

The Vandals won, 8-1, behind the bat of Berning, who drove in three runs, and the arm of Ryan Thiele, who threw five shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out six.

The Vandals were able score early and late in their fourth conference win of the year. They picked up two runs in the first inning and held a 2-1 led until the third, when they got on the board again with three more runs in the third inning and one in the fourth.

With Pana’s offense completely shut down after the first inning, Vandalia wasn't taking any chances in the seventh.

Leading 6-1, the Vandals plated two more.

The Panthers committed five errors on defense, and Vandalia had five hits.