Eagles take care of Monrovia 12-6, advance to semifinals
CLAYTON -- South Putnam played solid defense and took advantage of four Monrovia errors Monday to roll to a 12-6 victory in a first-round Sectional baseball game at Cascade.
The Eagles scored eight unearned runs, five in the seventh inning that began with them leading 7-5.
"I'm real pleased with how we played defensively," South Putnam coach Harold Campbell said. "They're not a bad team. We wanted to put the ball in play and put pressure on them defensively and we did that. Go back and look at the dropped popup and see how big a play that was."
Monrovia dropped an infield pop fly to start the seventh and would have gotten out of the inning without giving up a run. Instead, Cameron Chestnut came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded.
Chestnut drove in Derek Dean and Brayden Freeman with a double to centerfield. Noah Bowell followed with a two-run single and South Putnam's lead had expanded to 11-5. Nathan Welty drove in Boswell with a single.
"Our guys came up big in the seventh," Campbell said. "We tell Chestnut and Boswell that it's their responsibility to drive in runs and they came through."
Boswell started on the mound and struck out nine and didn't allow a hit in the opening three innings.
The Eagles staked him to a 2-0 lead in the first. Adam Hammond singled.
Chestnut grounded into a fielder's choice before Boswell walked. A passed ball moved them to second and third and Steinbaker delivered a two-run single.
South Putnam stretched its lead to 3-0 in the third on a pair of walks and a thowing error and to 4-0 in the fourth on a three-base throwing error and a steal of home by Derek Dean.
Monrovia's Damon Speck reachd on an erorr to start the bottom of the fourth. Caleb Spears doubled to left for the Bulldogs' first hit, with Speck stopping at third. He scored on a passed ball.
South Putnam moved ahead 6-1 in the top of the fifth. Spears tripled to right-center field and scored on a wild pitch. Steinbaker walked and, moved around to third on a ground out and a wild pich, and scored on Dean's infield out.
Monrovia (5-15) scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to narrow its deficit to 6-4. The Bulldogs had three hits, a walk and a wild pitch off Boswell.
South Putnam scored an uneared run in the sixth on a walk, a single and an error for a 7-4 advantage.
Boswell had 14 strikeouts out of 15 possible outs and had given up four hits and four runs (three earned) going into the sixth.
Monrovia's Dalin Gray led off with a single and Jimmy Collings walked. They were sacrifice bunted to second and third. Travis Buttler singled to center to drive in Gray.
Steinbaker relieved Boswell.
"Boswell had a great start with all those strikeouts," Campbell said. "He got a little tired. He was a little over 90 pitches. We brought in Seinbraker. We've been successful this year doing that this year because they throw a different velocity with Brice's off-speed stuff."
Steinbaker pitched the final one and one-third innings, giving up one run and two hits in the seventh.
Boswell and Chestnut each had two hits and two RBIs. Boswell also walked twice and scored four runs. Steinbaker had two RBIs, walked three times and scored once.
Welty and Hammand also had hits.
South Putnam committed only two errors and gave up only one unearned run.
Monrovia committed four errors, three passed balls and four wild pitches in allowing eight unearned runs.
South Putnam advances to the Sectional semifinals. It will play the winner of Tri-West/Cascade, Monday's final first-round game, on Thursday at Cascade.
IHSAA Sectional 46
South Putnam201 121 5 -- 12 8 2
Monrovia 000 131 1 -- 6 8 4
Boswell, Steinbaker (6) and Dean; Steward, Rhyner (4), Speck (5), Reeves (7) and Spears.
WP -- Boswell.
LP -- Steward
2B -- SP--Steinbaker; Monrovia--Spears 2.
3B -- SP-Boswell; Mon--Speck.
Next game -- South Putnam will face the winner of the Cascade/Tri-West game at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Cascade.