Bowen drives in Rice for walk-off win for Panthers over Cobden

Kyle Luke embraces Tyler Rice after Rice scored the winning run on Thursday. (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

March 23, 2018

  (Pinckneyville, Ill.) - Through five and a half innings of Thursday's home varsity baseball game against Cobden, the Panthers had just three hits and were trailing the Appleknockers 4-0. But three-run rallies in the bottom of both the sixth and seventh innings gave Pinckneyville the victory 6-5 when Tyler Rice crossed home plate on a walk-off single by Ethan Bowen.
  "You've got to give the credit to the players, they didn't quit," said PCHS head coach Bill Segelhorst. "They just battled, and battled, and battled. We talked to our pitchers that last little part of the game, they kept it within striking distance, and that's what they have to do."
  Pitchers Austin Alspach, Kelton Linze and Grant Jausel worked the rubber for the Panthers, and were all effective. No Pinckneyville pitcher allowed an earned run, and Jausel didn't allow a hit in his two innings of relief which yielded him the victory.
  The comeback began in the bottom of the sixth when Bradley Kurtz and Rice both singled in front of a two-run double by Alspach. Kyle Luke later plated Alspach with a double, cutting Cobden's lead to 4-3 heading to the seventh.
In the top half of the last inning, the Appleknockers drew a leadoff walk and used two stolen bases and an error to get an insurance run, but it wouldn't be enough.

  With one out in the bottom half, Kyle Kreger singled and later scored on a passed ball, and Kurtz and Rice both walked to set the table for Alspach, who grounded out but picked up an RBI to tie the score at 5-5. Alspach finished the day 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs to lead the PCHS offense.
  "We've been struggling this season as far as getting some hits across, we knew eventually the flood gates were going to open up," Segelhorst said. "(Alspach) has been putting a lot of good swings on the ball, they just haven't been hitting the ground. Tonight he finally busted open."
  That brought up Bowen, who with two strikes and Rice charging from third on an attempt to steal home, singled to give PCHS the victory.
  "I originally wanted (to steal home) on the pitch before, but I didn't want to have to say it too loud," said Segelhorst. "Tyler Rice has really good speed, and that kid was going off the wind-up, I felt we had a really good chance of putting that run on the board."
  Kreger (1-3, R, BB), Kurtz (2-3, 2 R, BB), Rice (1-3, 2 R, BB), Alspach (2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2B), Bowen (1-4, RBI), Luke (1-3, RBI, 2B), Colten Kling (1-3) and Isaac Hardin (1-3) had hits for the Panthers, who improved to 2-2 on the season with the victory.

Hamilton County 4, Pinckneyville 0 (03/21/18):
  The previous afternoon, the Panthers could generate practically no offense whatsoever against the Foxes at Hamilton County in a 4-0 loss, spoiling solid pitching efforts from Bowen (3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 3 K) and Hunter Clark (3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 K).
  Alspach (1-3) and Hardin (1-2, SAC) had the only hits for PCHS.

(Photos by Doug Daniels / PinckneyvilleSports.com)

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