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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Uhler strikes out 11; Tigers split

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fort Scott senior Justin Uhler pitches to a Girard batter during the first inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Lions Field Thursday afternoon. Uhler struck out 11 batters and walked none in a 4-3 victory. Girard won the second game, 7-4.
(Kenny Felt/Special to the Tribune)
Senior pitcher Justin Uhler struck out 11 batters and the defense played solidly behind him as Fort Scott High's baseball team took the first game of a doubleheader from Girard, 4-3, at Lions Field Thursday evening.

The Trojans rallied in the second game, scoring three times in the top of the seventh inning and then holding off the Tigers in the bottom of the inning to salvage a split by a 7-4 score.

Uhler allowed just 7 hits in the opener and didn't walk anyone. The Tigers committed just one error behind him and turned a big double play in the top of the seventh. Even though Girard scored a run with 2 outs after that, the double play kept a potentially big inning small and Uhler struck out the final batter of the game.

"Justin is a pitcher; he knows how to get guys out," Fort Scott head coach Josh Regan said. "He's not overpowering and he doesn't have to be. He changes speeds; he spots up. He works quickly.

"We played good defense behind that because he pounds the strike zone and makes people put it in play."

Fort Scott (1-2) got on the board first on an unusual series of events. Zach Denton led off the first inning by drawing a walk, then traded places with Jake Durossette on a fielder's choice. Luke Brown singled and Brent Parsons was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Dustin Stewart came up and grounded to the shortstop, who stepped on second to force out Parsons but threw wildly to first. Durossette had already scored and Brown came in on the bad throw. Then Stewart was thrown out trying to get to second. So the runs scored on a 6-3-6 double play that had an error in the middle.

Two more runs went up in conventional fashion in the second. Dane Cummings walked with one out, then stole second. Clayton Hixon reached on an error, then stole second himself. Mason Knopp lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring Cummings in. Denton hit a flair single down the left-field line to score Hixon.

Girard (2-1) cut the lead in half in the top of the third. The Trojans' 7th-inning run scored when Justin Mein doubled with two out and Taylor Lewis followed with another double.

At the plate, Denton had two hits while Brown and Stewart had the other hits for the Tigers. Johnson was 2 for 3 for Girard.

Grilz was Girard's starting pitcher and allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits in four innings, walking 2 and striking out 5.

Uhler struck out 5 consecutive batters at one point -- the last one of the fourth, the side in the fifth, and the first one of the sixth. He also struck out the side in the second.

Fort Scott also scored first in the nightcap. Durossette was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third n Parsons' single and scored on a wild pitch. Girard tied the score in the top of the third and took the lead in the top of the fourth.

Fort Scott went in front 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Cummings singled with one out. Catcher Ben Labbe reached on an error, which allowed Cummings to get to third. Courtesy runner John Hughes stole second. Both runners scored on Denton's 2-out double.

Girard tied the score again in the top of the fifth. The Trojans took the lead in the sixth with an unearned run and went ahead 7-3 with 3 unearned runs in the top of the seventh.

"Except for one inning,we win that game," Regan said. "We've got to learn how to put the clamps on a big inning like that. That killed us (Monday) against Nevada -- that first inning when they scored five."

The Tigers attempted to rally. Durossette singled to right leading off the bottom of the inning and Brown reached on an error. Parsons' grounder to second took a big hop into right-center. Stewart grounded into a fielder's choice that saw Durossette score. But Mein, who had take over on the mound in the fifth, got a strikeout and a groundout to preserve the win.

"I'm proud of the way we battled back," Regan said. "We could have given up down 3 runs. But we got the bases loaded and we had a shot at the end. And that says a lot about our team. We battled and I'll take that every time."

Durossette, Parsons and Labbe each had 2 hits for the Tigers. Nate George had 3 hits for the Trojans.

Fort Scott hosts Pittsburg next Thursday in a Southeast Kansas League doubleheader. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.

Game One

Girard............ 002 000 1 -- 3 7 2

Fort Scott...... 220 000 x -- 4 4 1

WP -- Uhler (1-0). LP -- Grilz.

Game Two

Girard............ 001 111 3 -- 7 9 2

Fort Scott...... 100 200 1 -- 4 8 2

WP -- Mein. LP -- Pickert (0-1).

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