Rooker's pair of two-run shots in the fourth and sixth innings led the Cougars as they defeated the Eagles, 11-1, in six innings. The fifth-ranked Cougars improved to 10-1 and 8-0 in the WCC. The Eagles dropped to 2-6 overall and 2-5 in conference.
"Kyle Rooker found a couple of good fastballs tonight," said Cougar coach Norm Fish.
Rooker wasn't the only one. Brayden Dahlstrom hit a two-run shot three batters before Rooker's first. Four other Cougars picked up one run batted in each.
Dahlstrom, in fact, turned in a good night at the plate and on the mound. We went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double and two RBI. He also threw a complete game three-hitter, walking two and striking out 11. He was a pitch away from a shutout before South's Brad Eickhoff scored on an error in the sixth. Dahlstrom got Davidson to fly out on the very next pitch.
"Brayden did an excellent job on the mound. South Putnam is a fastball hitting team, so I had him throw a lot of curves. But you need a catcher like Jordan Berry to do that," Fish said.
For his part, South coach Harold Campbell was proud of how his young team continued to compete to the end. Eickhoff's run was an example. The game was out of reach, but the team battled to avoid a second-straight shutout.
"We didn't quit at the end. We fought hard to get some base runners there at the end. We try to build on each night," Campbell said.
Campbell and the Eagles try to keep things in perspective. They understand themselves to be a young team, and they know who they were facing the last couple of nights.
"It was another opportunity to come out and see how we match up with the best team in conference," Campbell said.
"We're trying to stay sharp, stay focused. We're working hard on defense," he added. With such a young team committing just two errors on the night, the defense is coming around.
"We found a freshman in Bryce Steinbraker who is playing good third base for us," Campbell said.
Eagle starter Derek Cash went four innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and two walks. Reliever Davidson pitched two innings, allowing four runs on seven hits.
At this point, the Eagles are continuing the learning process and seeing what they can build for the future.
"We know we're young, but we have guys who are believing in the system we're putting in place," he said. "They could be hanging their heads."
Instead, they are continuing to learn and competing every night.
Fish was pleased with the effort from his team Tuesday, noting the slow start they had Monday against South.
"I really thought we came with a different attitude than last night," Fish said.
The scary part for the opposition is, the coach believes his team, which has been so tough all year, is playing better than it has been so far this season.
"I'm happier with this game than any game we've had all year. We did what we said we were going to do. I'm pleased with everyone," he said.
Even in the latter part of the lineup, Fish was happy with his team's batting, noting the way number six hitter Griffin Dahlstrom and number nine Kyle Alcorn have been hitting of late.
"We're really starting to see the bats come together," Fish said.
The Cougars return to action at 5 p.m. Thursday at Covington. The Eagles will be at Riverton Parke at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
At South Putnam
N. Putnam 004 313 -- 11 17 2
S. Putnam 000 001 -- 1 3 2
W -- B. Dahlstrom
L -- Cash
2B -- G. Dahlstrom, Berry, B. Dahlstrom (NP)
HR -- Rooker 2, B. Dahlstrom (NP)
Next game -- North Putnam travels to Covington at 5 p.m. Thursday. South Putnam will travle to Riverton Parke at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
COUNTY BASEBALL ROUNDUP
Tiger Cubs defeat Sparkplugs
SPEEDWAY -- The Greencastle baseball squad improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in West Central Conference play Tuesday after knocking off Speedway on the road, 9-4.
Kyle Nobles picked up the win in relief for Greencastle. In three and two-thirds innings, he gave up one unearned frun off two hits and one walk while striking out three.
Nobles came into the game in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and one out. He struck out the first batter he faced before forcing the next hitter into a fielder's choice.
Erick Burgeson started the game for the Tiger Cubs. In three and one-third innings, he allowed three runs off four hits and four walks while fanning one.
Offensively, Greencastle tallied 11 hits as Jeremy Hayden was 3-for-4 to lead the way. The junior had one double and two singles while driving in one run and scoring once.
Derrik Patterson was 2-for-4 with a triple and one run batted in while Nobles was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Greencastle will face Crawfordsville on the road Saturday.
Greencastle 200 050 2 -- 9 11
Speedway 003 001 0 -- 4 6
WP -- Nobles
LP -- O'Sullivan
2B -- Hayden (GHS)
3B -- Patterson (GHS)
Next Game -- The Tiger Cubs face Crawfordsville on the road Saturday.
At Clayton Tuesday, Cascade knocked off Cloverdale in WCC action, 9-0.
The Cadets scored three runs in the first and added five more in the second off Cloverdale starter Cody Nees.
Cascade added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning en route to the victory.
Offensively, Cloverdale hd just one hit with Brandon Mescall banging out a single in the top of the sixth inning.
Cloverdale is scheduled to face Edgewood on the road Thursday, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Cloverdale 000 000 0 -- 0 1 1
Cascade 350 010 x -- 9 10 2
WP -- McKamey
LP -- Nees
Next Game -- The Clovers face Edgewood on the road Thursday at 4:30 p.m.