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athmerGreat start — Central senior righty Kyle Athmer sends home a pitch in the first inning of the Cougars’ 10-0 win over Wood River on Saturday morning. Athmer picked up the complete-game victory with 11 strikeouts. (Photo by Jeremy Chawgo)    It may have been just the season-opener for the Central baseball team, but the Cougars’ 10-0 victory over visiting Wood River on Saturday will be a game to remember.
    Senior pitcher Kyle Athmer notched his name into the Illinois High School Association’s record book by tossing a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts over the Oilers.
    The feat, combined with his 306 yards passing the night before in the Cougars’ 41-7 football win over Alton Marquette, marked the first time in IHSA history that a player threw for 300 yards passing on one night and then next day got a win on the mound in a varsity game.
    “Playing on a Friday night on homecoming and beating Marquette and then coming out here and doing the same thing in baseball is nothing better,” said Athmer.  It was the best 24 hours of my life.”
    As for the win in baseball, Athmer went the distance and allowed three hits and one walk while striking out 11 batters in 84 pitches of which 56 were strikes.
    Meanwhile, the offense took advantage of an early miscue to set the tone.
    After Athmer struck out the side in the top of the first inning, the Cougars first two hitters were retired in the bottom of the inning before Dalton Boruff reached on a fielding error and Grant Oster walked.
    “After a year of not playing, these kids came into practice and showed us that they have the skills to be a very good baseball team,” said Central head coach Kevin Crask.  “Kyle has thrown just one bullpen with the coaches, the rest has been on his own.  I didn’t know what to expect from him, and he did an outstanding job.”
    Junior Easton Rakers came up with the big 2-out hit with a triple into the left-centerfield gap to post CHS to a 2-0 lead.
    “That was big hit coming from the first game,” said Crask. “I know we had some jitters, but that was a big hit.  It takes a lot of pressure off the pitcher and the defense when you get out to that lead.
    The Cougars added another run in the second inning on two walks and fielder’s choice.
    Central went back to work in the bottom of the fifth inning when Oster was hit by a pitch with two outs.  Rakers singled to left before Chase Lewis chased home Oster with an RBI single to center as CHS led 4-0.
    Jeff Keith added another RBI single in the inning as Central led 5-0 after five innings.
    The Cougars put the game away in the sixth inning when Landon Geragosian led off with a triple to right and scored on an error.
    Mason Hamon reached on an error before Boruff singled through the left side.  Oster followed with a single before Lewis singled again and Keith ended the game with an RBI double.
    Geragosian was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Rakers was 3-for-4 with a pair of singles, a triple, two stolen basesm three runs batted in and one run scored.
    Lewis was 3-for-4 with three singles, two runs batted in and one run scored while Keith was 2-for-4.  Vaughn Douglas scored three times.
    The Cougars outhit the Oilers 13-3 while CHS stranded seven runners on base. 

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15 May 2021

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