By PAUL HINES
---- — MT. VERNON – The Rams hit the ball hard but produced little offense in Friday’s 3-0 loss to DuQuoin.
“You have to give them credit for making the plays,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “They made every play. You look down our scoreboard. It’s L this, L that a lot of line drives today, but that’s part of the game.”
DuQuoin starter Brenden Fred scattered four hits over the complete-game shutout. Mt. Vernon never pushed a runner past second base and never had multiple hits in an inning.
Collin Young finished with a hit and a walk in the game. Landon Thomas, Colten Meador and Sawyer Harrison added a single each.
DuQuoin generated some early offense against Mt. Vernon starter Landon Thomas. DuQuoin’s Camdon Mercier started the second inning with a single. He came around to score on Jonah Spencer’s double.
“Landon did fine. He didn’t pitch bad at all,” Holloway said. “(He) got behind a few times. They had a few leadoff guys on, but other than that I thought he did fine. He settled down. He threw strikes.”
The game stayed 1-0 until the fifth when the Indians capitalized on a couple of rare Rams mistakes.
DuQuoin’s Austin Mansker opened the inning and reached on an error. He moved to second after Brenden Fred got an infield single. Nate Boss came up with runners on first and third and knocked a grounder to Harrison at third. Harrison couldn’t field the ball, and Mansker scored. Fred made the score 3-0 after a wild pitch from reliever Thomas Weber.
“I think we just didn’t catch the ball,” Holloway said. “Those two guys that made the errors haven’t made an error yet in (nine) games. That’s their first error of the season. It’s part of the game. They don’t make many, and unfortunately it happened at the same time.”
Fred finished with three strikeouts. He didn’t walk a batter.
“He really did a good job of keeping the ball down,” DuQuoin coach Tim Craft said. “We know Mt. Vernon’s a great team, and they’ve got some kids who can really swing. And he really controlled the game by just putting the ball where he wanted to all game long.”
Mt. Vernon is 7-3 this season and hosts East Peoria for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. today.