USC defeats St. Clair

Published 10:27 am Friday, May 28, 2010

United South Central overcame a slow start and used a five-run fifth inning to beat St. Clair in the first round of the Section 2A Tournament.

Nick Fure backed up his pitching performance with a two-run home run in the fifth. Two batter later, William Huper hit another two-run homer to support Fure, who finished strong after surrendering three runs in the top of the first.

After failing to drive in Dustin Dylla in the fourth, after hitting a two out double to right-center, the Rebels (13-8) had only mustered one hit through four frames and were down 3-0.

Email newsletter signup

The bottom of the fifth began with more of the same. After Eric Lackey walked on a 3-1 count, Zach Wigeran grounded out to first base advancing Lackey and Anthony Stenzel lined out to second base. That’s when the offense erupted.

With two-outs, Riley Swearingen hit an RBI single scoring Lackey and Fure followed with a homerun to left field, tying the game at three.

Alex Dreyer kept the inning alive with a bloop single to shallow left field and Huper drove him in with a game-winning home run to center.

The Rebels didn’t let the slow start shake their confidence even after falling behind to a team they beat 14-4 on April 27.

“I tell these kids is to keep hanging in there and don’t panic,” head coach Pat Franks said. “If something goes wrong in your first at bat, in the seventh inning you may be the one that gets it.”

Huper must have been listening, who before hitting the game-winning home-run, struck out in his first two at bats.

Fure recovered from a shaky start and kept the Rebels in the game. He seemed to throw harder every inning as he blanked the Cyclones (7-10) through the final six frames.

“He didn’t look like he was ready to throw the first two, three innings and that it was I explained to him,” Franks said. “He did a good job of rebounding.”

Franks plans to pitch Fure again Tuesday as the Rebels take on Mankato Loyola in the second-round of the tournament. The game will be played at 5 p.m. in Mankato.

USC 5, St. Clair 3

WP—Nick Fure 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 4 K

LP—Brandon Prange 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K