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May 11, 2012

BASEBALL: Red Devils win HHC tourney

Jeff needs just five hits to trounce Seymour, 12-3

JEFFERSONVILLE — The Jeffersonville boys' baseball team took advantage of some poor pitching from the Seymour Owls in capturing the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament Championship,12-3 at Don Poole Field on Friday.

But that's what a good team does, coach Matthew Rigsby said. And there's mounting evidence that the 10-5 Red Devils, after knocking off Class 4A No. 5 New Albany in the semifinal round before trouncing the No. 12 Owls, are just that.

"The past 10 years my teams have played in a lot of tournaments and in the ones we've won, there's been a lot a luck involved," said Rigsby, who is in his first year as Jeffersonville's head coach after stops in Kentucky high schools. "But you also have to execute. And that's what this team is starting to do - pick our spots, execute and score runs."

Seymour hurlers Zach Brown, Connor Kirtley and Billy Rayburn relinquished 10 walks, five wild pitches and one hit batsman between them, and the Owls (16-4) fell behind early.

Jeffersonville pitcher Drew Ellis (2-0) struck out the side in the top half of the first, and then added an RBI double to left field out of the cleanup spot in the bottom half, plating Nick Gallagher to give his squad a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, five Red Devils walked, with Dalton Conway scoring on an error and Cameron Dale and Chanse Oliver scoring on wild pitches. But the dam really burst on the Owls in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Isaac Crafton and Trent Astle scored on wild pitches, a two-out single from Dale scored Conway and Ellis, and a double from Oliver plated Dale to give the Red Devils a 10-1 lead heading into the fifth.

"I think we had that mindset that we were going to try and score every inning, and they almost did," Rigsby said. "And this was a pretty good team we beat tonight. We knocked their ace (Brown) out, worked them into the count and got on base alot. I was happy."

As for Ellis, Rigsby described his performance as dominant. The sophomore right-hander, who primarily plays shortstop for the Red Devils, went four innings and gave up three hits and one run while striking out six Owl batters.

It was only Ellis' second outing of the season. In his only other trip to the mound this year he shut out Clarksville in early April.

"The thing about Drew is is that he's so good in the field, but we have to keep giving him opportunities to help us with his pitching and he stepped up today," Grigsby said.

Despite scoring nine more runs than the Owls, they matched the visitors evenly in hits with five. Oliver added a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning and finished with two RBI on the night.

Right fielder Brian Clark was 2-3 for Seymour.

The Red Devils host Butler Monday at Don Poole Field.

SEYMOUR    000 120 0—  3 5 4

JEFF    131 502 x—12 5 1

    W — Ellis (2-0). L — Brown. 2B — Ellis (J), Oliver (J).

    Records — Seymour 16-4, Jeffersonville 10-5.

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