No. 6 - Miners take sectional, stumble at regional
The success of the Linton-Stockton Miners baseball team earned the No. 6 spot in the Greene County Daily World's top sports stories of 2011.
There was no shortage of power in the Class 2A Sectional final at Roy Herndon Field in Linton on May 31.
The Linton-Stockton Miners pounded out a dozen hits -- including four home runs -- and got a stellar relief effort from Ty Scott as they claimed their second straight sectional title with a 12-7 win over Eastern Greene.
The Miners four dingers included a go-ahead grand slam from Abe Neff in a five-run fourth inning.
"Our bats have been there all year, we've been able to score runs," Linton-Stockton coach Matt Fougerousse said. "It's been our pitching and defense."
But how things changed less than a week later when the Miners hosted the class 2A regional.
After disposing of top-ranked Forest Park enroute to winning a baseball sectional, South Spencer outscored the host Miners 29-5 over the final five innings as the Rebels advanced to the Class 2A Regional title game with a 31-10 victory.
The Rebels fell behind 5-1 after the first and trailed 5-2 before scoring six in the third and fifth, four more in the sixth and tacking on 13 runs in the seventh inning.
"They are a very good hitting ball club," Fougerousse told his coaching staff after watching the Rebels defeat North Posey 11-9 in their sectional title game three days earlier. "There are no easy outs up and down the line-up."
It was the second year in a row that a sectional championship turned into a regional blowout. In 2010 in what proved to be Bart Berns' final game as Miner coach, Providence defeated the Miners 23-3.
In the first five games of the 2011 postseason (four sectional, one regional) at Roy Herndon Field, the winners outscored the losers 102-29.
South Spencer went on to win the IHSAA Class 2A State Championship a few weeks later.