HUNTINGTON - The South Side baseball team is a sectional champion for the first time in school history.
Senior pitcher William Coursen-Carr scattered five hits in a complete game on the mound and also drove in a pair of runs in a 4-1 victory over No. 8-ranked Homestead on Saturday night to win the Huntington North Sectional.
The Archers move on to the regional round next week in Lafayette.
“I am speechless, this is awesome,” Coursen-Carr said. “The fielding behind me was amazing. We made a few errors but we came up big when it mattered.”
Homestead (24-5) took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning and got runners into scoring position in four of the next five innings, but Coursen-Carr, who struck out 11 for the game, continuously worked out of trouble.
“Recently, I have been starting off in the beginning innings kind of poorly,” Coursen-Carr said. “But then I get in the zone, I know I have to shut them down.”
South Side (18-9) broke through offensively in the third. Michael Fisher reached on an error with one out, then moved to second on a single by Evan VanSumeren. A walk to Donovan Clark loaded the bases for Coursen-Carr. The Indiana University signee delivered, driving a pitch into center field to score a pair of runs to give the Archers the lead.
Interestingly, that at-bat was the first for Coursen-Carr with a new bat, after he cracked the bat he had been using all season.
“This bat has a different balance and is a little lighter,” Coursen-Carr said. “I just got a fastball and drove it.”
Justin Kiessling knocked in a third run on a fielders choice one batter later, with Homestead throwing home to try and throw out Clark, but the throw was off line.
Coursen-Carr did the rest on the mound. After the Archers took the lead, the senior hurler allowed just four more Spartan baserunners. He struck out five of Homestead’s final seven batters.
“Will has been a leader for us and has been working on his breaking pitches,” South Side coach Sheldon Van Pelt said. “(Homestead) is a good fastball hitting team so I knew we had to get ahead in the count with his breaking stuff.”
South Side added an additional run in the seventh. Clark walked then stole second and third. The throw to third beat Clark to the bag, but he avoided the tag and was safe. Kiessling then drove him in with a groundout.
But Coursen-Carr did not need any more run support.
“This is great for South Side baseball,” Van Pelt said. “We broke the (season win record) set in 1970 and won the first sectional school history.
“This is awesome.”