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Friday, May 6, 2016

Fort Scott baseball posts sweep of Columbus

Saturday, May 5, 2012

COLUMBUS, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School's baseball team posted its first doubleheader sweep since April 5 and just its second of the season here Thursday. The Tigers took care of Columbus in a pair of one-run decisions in Southeast Kansas League play, 5-4 in the opener and 4-3 in the nightcap.

"This was huge from a conference standpoint, especially since it's been since we swept Pittsburg," Fort Scott head coach Josh Regan said. "We had some guys come through both offensively and defensively."

Mason Knopp (2-0) went the distance on the hill in the opener, allowing 8 hits and one walk while striking out 7. Justin Uhler (3-2) took care of things in the nightcap. Although he gave up 10 hits, he walked only one batter and struck out 3. The senior's experience also came through on a key play in the second game.

"It was the fifth inning of the second game," Regan said. "It was tied 2-2. They tried a squeeze and Uhler recognized it and called the pitchout. We executed it, Mason (catching in the second game) threw the runner out at second and then we threw it back home and caught the runner out at third as he was trying to get back."

In the top of the sixth of that game, Regan took a chance and sent up freshman Chase Brown to pinch hit with two runners on and one out. Brown responded with a line drive down the first base line that brought Luke Brown and Benjamin Labbe home.

"That was ice cold for a freshman," Regan said. "But I have every confidence in that kid. We have some young guys who are really coming through for us."

Uhler got in a little trouble in the bottom of the sixth. Trevor McLaughlin brought Columbus within a run on a one-out RBI double. He eventually got to third but was stranded there as Uhler got a flyout and a ground out to end the inning.

Labbe and Dane Cummings had 2 hits each for the Tigers (7-5 SEK, 8-8 overall). Cummings and Jake Durossette scored the other 2 runs.

Fort Scott had to hold off a Columbus rally in the opener. The Tigers scored twice in the second inning and once in the fourth to go up 3-0. They added two more in the sixth to make it 5-1.

The Titans (2-8, 2-11) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying run on second with one out. But Regan trusted Knopp enough to finish the job and he responded by striking out the game's last two batters.

"The boys have continued to work so hard," Regan said. "I'm happy it paid off for them last night."

Cummings was 3 for 3 for the Tigers with 2 doubles. He also scored 3 runs. Zach Denton had 2 hits for Fort Scott.

The Tigers travel to Iola for another SEK doubleheader Monday. They conclude the regular season with a home twinbill against Chanute Thursday.

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