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Sunday, May 1, 2016

South Putnam shuts down Cougars; teams raise $112 for cancer research

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

North Putnam catcher Tyler Watson lies in wait at home plate for South Putnam's John Spencer Monday night at the Cougar's ball diamond. [Order this photo]
ROACHDALE -- Cameron Chestnut proved Monday night that he is more than just a base runner -- he's a slugger too.

Chestnut cranked two first-pitch home runs over the left field fence for the Eagles. The first came in the top of the fifth when he lunged at Mitchell Crum's curveball, jacking it deep over the fence, giving the Eagles a 4-3 lead. Then in the top of the sixth with two outs and a runner on second, he did it again. On the same count and same pitch, a curveball, Chestnut sent the ball sailing over the left field fence, for a two-run shot and a 6-3 final.

"He's doing a great job at the plate right now," SPHS Coach Troy Burgess said. "He's led off a game that way and on Friday against Danville, he hit a grand slam."

Chestnut now has four home runs for the season, three of them coming within the two games, and the junior admitted that he wasn't aiming for fence, the pitches just looked good.

"The first one I hit, I lunged for and I just happen to hit the sweet spot," Chestnut said. "The second looked good to me so, I thought I'd hack at it and it went over."

Chestnut was a problem for the Cougars from the start. He singled in his first at bat and stole second and third, moving his stolen base-count to 20 for the season, then scored when Noah Boswell hit a sacrifice grounder to third.

Chestnut was a thorn in the Cougars' side, but North Putnam's real problem wasn't Chestnut hitting home runs or stealing bases. It was Boswell's pitching.

Boswell held the Cougars to three hits, one of which was a triple by Jerrett Ban who ended up scoring on a bad throw to third.

The Cougars other big hit of the night was in the bottom of the third when CJ Lofton hit a two-run single.

"Noah Boswell pitched a great game," NPHS Coach Norm Fish said. "He flat out beat our hitters. We had sound defense and made a couple base running errors, but he just flat out beat our hitters tonight."

Boswell finished the game with eight strikeouts.

"This was his fourth outing this year and he's done well every time," Burgess said. "He knows what his strengths are and he is going to keep us in a lot of games. He's just a great asset for us on the mound."

Boswell's strikeouts did more than just win his team a county and conference game, they helped raise $112 dollars for cancer research. Every time a Cougars struck out, they passed a hat around the stands to collect money and Boswell sent that hat around eight times.

"I think that coaches, players and even fans forget sometimes what is important and what these kids did today was," Burgess said about the fundraiser. "A group of 15, 16, and 17-year-old kids came out here and raised over a $100 for a great cause and that is what makes this a great win."

North Putnam's pitcher, Crum, had his share of strikeouts too. He fanned seven batters for the evening, making South Putnam pass the hat around their stands as well.

On Saturday, the Eagles lost a close game with North Vermillion, losing 5-4. South Putnam scored four runs on five hits, led by John Spencer and Drew Cash, who both had home runs. Chestnut also made his mark on Saturday, setting a new school record for stolen bases, when he stole his 18th stolen base of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Eagles and Cougars are back in action today when they play at South Putnam at 4:30 p.m.

At North Putnam

S. Putnam 111 012 0 -- 6 9 2

N. Putnam 012 000 0 -- 4 3 0

Crum and Watson (NP); Boswell and Freeman (SP)

WP -- Boswell

LP -- Crum

2B -- Spencer (SP)

3B -- Ban (NP)

HR -- Chestnut 2 (SP)

Next Game -- Both teams are back in action today when they play at South Putnam at 4:30 p.m.