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Rebels put hammer down in win over Patriots

March 31st, 2014 9:20 pm by Dave Ongie

Rebels put hammer down in win over Patriots

South's Hunter Cox (11) throws in an attempt to turn the double play after getting out Sullivan East baserunner Justin Parks during Monday's game. (Ned Jilton II photo)

View the photo gallery from the game

KINGSPORT — Sullivan South has thoroughbred speed up and down its lineup, and the Rebels kept the carousel spinning on Monday evening with a little help from Sullivan East.

South took advantage of four East errors, hammered out 13 hits and raced to a 9-2 win in a key Three Rivers Conference baseball game.

The Rebels broke open the game with three unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning and another in the fourth. Starting pitcher Russell Koesters overcame a slow start and held the Patriots in check on his way to picking up the win.

"He didn't have his best stuff," South coach Anthony Richardson said of his starter. "They had a chance to get on him early but they didn't, so we got a little breathing room there."

Koesters (3-1) escaped unscathed from a first-inning jam after allowing back-to-back singles with two outs. He gave up just two more hits and one unearned run the rest of the way.

Koesters threw six innings before giving way to Nathan Dye, who was tagged for an earned run in the seventh before closing out the game.

Offensively, the Rebels were able to hit East ace B.J. Murray (3-1) hard, and Murray's teammates didn't do him many favors in the field. An error in the bottom of the third proved costly when South leadoff man Chase Fields ripped a two-out, two-run double and Caleb Krutak followed it up with an RBI single.

Two more throwing errors by the Patriots in the fourth turned a routine single by Dalton Light into another unearned run.

East coach Mike Breuninger said his team's shoddy defense caught him by surprise.

"That's the first game we've done that," he said. "The 11 games before this, we didn't do that, but today we did.

"You just can't do that against good teams."

Krutak spearheaded South's prolific offense, going 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Koesters helped himself by smacking two hits and driving in a run, and Cooper Jackson had two hits and scored twice for the Rebels (9-4, 5-1).

Brady McGrew had an RBI double for East (9-3, 4-1).

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