Tigers ace Jackson test

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Central banged out a 9-0 win over the Indians.

Central's bats remained hot on Tuesday, as the visiting Tigers routed rival Jackson 9-0 in a SEMO Conference battle.

The Tigers had 14 hits, which followed a 13-hit performance against Poplar Bluff on Saturday in a 13-4 win. Central improved to 3-1 overall, and 3-1 in conference play.

"We swung the bats well today," Central coach Steve Williams said. "We got some key hits with men in scoring position. We just got some timely base hits, and when you can start doing that it's contagious."

Central brought eight men to the plate in the first inning, getting to Jackson starter Joel Penrod for four hits and two runs. The Tigers left the bases loaded, but two runs were more than enough for ace Brad LaBruyere.

LaBruyere. who had allowed three runs in four innings during a substandard outing Saturday, pitched a four-hitter Tuesday. The junior, who improved to 3-0, struck out seven and walked one.

"When you put him on the mound, you don't have to worry about him being into the game," Williams said. "It helps to have a kid who can go out there and you have a chance to beat anyone you play."

Jackson managed just two baserunners through five innings.

"We didn't score any runs, but I thought we had some better swings, hit some balls harder," said Jackson coach Rex Crosnoe, whose team had just two hits in a loss Saturday. "You have to tip you hat to Brad. He's about as good a pitcher as we'll see all year."

Meanwhile, the Tigers got contributions from nearly everyone in their order against the Indians. Blake Slattery led the charge with three hits, including two doubles and three RBIs. Chris Brotherton and Lance Young added two hits apiece.

"That's the way you like to have it. Up and down the lineup, they start building confidence," Williams said.

Penrod suffered the loss for the Indians, lasting just 3 2/3 innings. Jackson, which fell to 0-3, will be back in action today at home against Hillsboro.

"You want to get that first win under your belt and hopefully that will get the ball rolling," Crosnoe said. "I can't fault the effort of the kids. They play hard. They practice hard. They want to win. Things just haven't panned out for us yet."

Central will play in yet another SEMO Conference game today when it travels to Sikeston.

Central 9, Jackson 0

Central2002410--9 142
Jackson0000000--0 41

WP -- Brad LaBruyere, 3-0. LP -- Joel Penrod, 0-1. 2B -- Blake Slattery 2 (C). Multiple hits -- Central, Slattery 3-4; Chris Brotherton 2-3; Lance Young 2-4. Records -- Central 3-1, Jackson 0-3.

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