Sauter, South Carroll stymie La Plata, 3-1

His 12 strikeouts, Lewis combine to give Cavaliers 2nd state title in 4 years

Class 3A state baseball

May 26, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

South Carroll senior Bo Sauter could not have picked a better time to come through big.

The left-handed pitcher struck out 12 batters, walked one and allowed just six hits in 6 1/3 innings, and senior Josh Lewis struck out the final two batters to lead the Cavaliers to a thrilling 3-1 victory over La Plata of Charles County in the Class 3A state baseball championship game last night at Joe Cannon Stadium in Harmans.

South Carroll (15-9-1), which won its fifth straight game, claimed its second state title in four years. La Plata (17-8) had its 10-game winning streak broken.

From the start, Sauter perplexed La Plata hitters. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound pitcher struck out four of the first five batters and had eight strikeouts through four innings. With South Carroll up 3-0 in the top of the sixth, he came up with his finest moment, striking out La Plata's No. 3 hitter, George Beuchert, and cleanup hitter, Austin Flowers, with the bases loaded.

Beuchert entered the game batting .460, but Sauter struck out him and Flowers all three times he faced them.

"The umpire had a good strike zone, my fastballs were good today, Coach was calling good pitches all along and the defense played well," Sauter said. In the sixth inning, "I focused and just took my time. I reached back and had a little extra, I guess."

In the seventh inning, La Plata's Tim Deavers led off with a single, and Mickey Ely followed with another. With runners on first and second and no outs, Sauter got Matt McFaden to pop out.

After Deavers scored on an error, South Carroll coach George Richardson called for his ace, Indiana University-bound Lewis.

Lewis fired fastballs by T.C. Renner and Clint Smith to shut the door and earn the save.

"That's the way I wanted to end my high school career: being the last guy on the mound out there," said Lewis (5-1, 0.80 ERA). "Sauter was so unstoppable. It was insane. Everything he threw they couldn't touch. He did awesome tonight."

South Carroll took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when senior Jimmy Dahlgren hit an RBI single to right-center to drive home Chris Luette, who had led off by getting hit by a pitch. The Cavaliers managed just one hit in the next three innings and had trouble with La Plata pitcher Daryl Thompson (10 strikeouts).

In the fifth inning, South Carroll's hitters came alive. D.J. Payne led off with a walk, went to second on a passed ball and to third on Luette's bunt.

Luette stole second, and with one out junior Corey Greene hit a line drive to right field that scored two runs for a 3-0 lead.

"You could tell this week through practice that he was totally prepared mentally for this," Richardson said. "That's the big thing with him, is that he's very mature as a pitcher. He understands the game and knows what he has to do."

La Plata 000 000 1 -- 1 6 0

South Carroll 100 020 x -- 3 7 1

Sauter, Lewis (7th) and Payne; Thompson and Ely.

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