Notre Dame Hands Signal Mountain First Loss In 7-AA Baseball

Matt Rouche Earns First Win As Irish Beat Eagles, 4-2

Monday, April 8, 2013 - by John Hunt

The Notre Dame baseball team rose to the occasion on Monday night while the host Signal Mountain Eagles did not.

Playing a key District 7-AA game at Signal Mountain, the Fighting Irish used three unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning as a springboard and it was more than enough as the Irish overcame a 2-1 Eagle lead for the 4-2 win.

Seniors Matt Rouche and Braxton Reese pitched really well for their respective teams, but when push came to shove, a couple of critical errors by the Signal Mountain shortstop proved to be the difference as Notre Dame headed home with the victory.

Both Rouche and Reese went the distance with Rouche earning his first win after three losses and Reese getting stuck with his first loss after four wins.

"I feel like I pitched pretty well.  Getting ahead in the count early really helped and those three runs made me a lot more comfortable.  I just wanted to shut them down in the seventh inning and get out of here," Rouche said, wanting to get home to watch the Louisville-Michigan national championship game.

Notre Dame coach Greg Elie was especially pleased after his team improved to 8-6 overall with their third straight win.

"What a great game," Elie said while his players cleaned up the dugout and prepared to head for the parking lot.

"Matt has pitched like that all year, but he's been a hard-luck loser three times.  The key for us is the fact that we executed and did the little stuff well.  And we didn't give up.

"Signal Mountain has a great team and we had to start somewhere, but it was a total team effort tonight.  Grayson Hargett is tough as nails.  He laid down a perfect bunt in that sixth inning.  But we know that we still have a long way to go and that we must play this one game at a time," Elie added.

Signal Mountain coach Bumper Reese wasn't exactly pleased with his team's defense, but he was quick to praise the Irish' defense and pitcher Rouche in particular.

"We just didn't play very well tonight, but tomorrow is a new day and a different game.  Their pitcher did a super job as he had the fastball working.  He made good pitches when he had to, but Notre Dame also played great defense.

"They did all of the little things well and we didn't.  We hit the ball hard a few times, but we didn't have any luck with anything falling," Reese nodded.

Rouche drove in the first run of the game with a single in the first.  Gage Miller led off with a walk and Nick Chambers also received a base on balls with one out.  Miller was picked off second for the second out before Alex Darras reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners.

Rouche lifted a little blooper into short right field as Chambers raced home with the first run.

It was 1-0 until Signal Mountain tied it with a single run in the fourth.  Madison Boyd reached on a one-out walk and scored on a bad throw by the Irish third baseman on a routine grounder.

The Eagles got their only two hits of the game in the fifth when they took a 2-1 lead.

Kaleb Menzel singled to right with one out and went to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Patrick Bruce.  Ben Philyaw then plated Menzel with a single to right.  Reese walked to put runners on first and second, but Chambers made scooped a hard grounder in the hole at short and made a nice play for the third out.

It didn't take Notre Dame long to regain the lead.

Miller ripped a double into the gap in left-center to lead off before Grayson Hargett reached on a perfect bunt down the line toward third.  The tying run came home on the first Signal Mountain error while the go-ahead was also courtesy of an Eagle boot.  Conner Simpson got credit for an RBI on the third run of the inning when he received a bases-loaded walk.

Charlie Tregasar walked with one out in the Signal Mountain sixth, but Rouche retired the next two hitters on swinging strikes to end that threat.

Then in the bottom of the seventh, Rouche hit Menzel with the first pitch, but nothing materialized as the hard-throwing righty got a fielders' choice grounder to second in between his last two strikeouts.

Rouche finished with the two-hitter and two runs allowed.  He had seven strikeouts and five walks in addition to the one hit batter.

Reese also pitched well and retired a dozen Irish hitters in a row after the first inning.  He allowed four hits and four walks while finishing with 10 strikeouts.

Notre Dame left five runners stranded, including three in the sixth while Signal Mountain left six.

Notre Dame is now 8-6 overall and 2-3 in District 7-AA while Signal Mountain is now 10-4 overall and 4-1 in 7-AA.  The second game of this series will be played at Notre Dame's Hunter Field Tuesday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

Notre Dame  100 003 0 -- 4 4 1

Signal Mountain  000 110 0 -- 2 2 2

Rouche and Hargett; Reese and Feemster.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net


Lookouts - Barons Wednesday Game Rained Out

The heavy rains in the area caused the cancellation of Wednesday night's game between Birmingham and Chattanooga at AT&T Field in downtown Chattanooga.  (click for more)

Dixie Youth Baseball: Signal Mountain Wins 9-10s Title

Using a trio of pitchers – Forrest Sveadas (2 innings), Sam Eldridge (3-5 th inning) and Carter Giles (6th   inn.)  - who combined for two strikeouts and allowing just two earned runs, the Signal Mountain American defeated Signal Mountain National, 8-4, to win the Dixie Youth Baseball District 6 championship for 9-10s (AA) Tuesday at Senter Field on Lookout ... (click for more)

Work Set To Restart On Chickamauga Lock This Year

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $3 million that Congress provided for fiscal year 2015 to restart construction on Chickamauga Lock this year, Senator Lamar Alexander and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann announced. “We need to replace Chickamauga Lock before it fails, and I talked with Secretary Darcy today to thank her for making this project a priority by deciding to restart ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger For Public Apology; Does Not Get One

County Commissioner Tim Boyd on Wednesday morning read a letter in which he asked County Mayor Jim Coppinger for a public apology. However, he did not get one. Instead, County Mayor Coppinger called remarks last Wednesday by Commissioner Boyd that the county mayor had $4.4 million in discretionary funds "ridiculous." He said that money includes such items as the Humane Educational ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Never Disturb The Dead

I’ve got too many things in my life that scare me so I’ve always been real leery of “unnecessary fear.” A guy named Terry wanted to teach me how to catch a live rattlesnake one time but had a tough time telling me what exactly to do with the angry serpent when the time came to let it go. I have the same view of these paranormal societies where otherwise sane people go around looking ... (click for more)