Cougar baseball wins 4th straight district title
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 21, 2014 6:57 PM

The fourth straight district championship for the Logan County Cougars didn’t come easy, just as the third didn’t. But it happened, just as it has seven other seasons in this century.

Behind the pitching of Caleb Bruner, the hitting of Matt Harper, and the defense of the entire team, the Cougars beat Franklin-Simpson Tuesday on their home field.

The two teams had beaten the other by a single run in their regular season meetings, and both went into the finals leading the region with 25 wins each. Many observers believe it’s very possible they could meet again next week in the regional finals.

The Cougars scored the only run they would need in the first inning, and for most of the game it seemed like it would be the only run of the entire ball game. It began with Jacob Wood singling. Harper doubled them both into scoring position. Ian Woodall singled in Wood, but Harper didn’t see Coach Ethan Meguiar’s stop sign at third in time. He was ruled out on Tyler Knight’s tag as he tried to get back to third. Courtesy runner Jackson Campbell—on base instead of catcher Woodall—got to third but was stranded.

Logan threatened to score again in the third. With two outs, F-S starter Reed Caudill hit Wood with a pitch and walked Harper, but he struck out Woodall to end the inning.

The threat was even greater in the fourth when the Cougars loaded the bases. Bruner led off with a single. After an out, Michael Riley beat out an infield single before Hunter Britt singled to load the bases. Caudill responded by striking out Tucker Baldwin. Then he waged a great battle with Joe Holliday, who fouled off three 2-2 pitches before flying out to left.

Coach Craig Delk’s Wildcats were on the verge of making Logan pay for stranding six runners in the top of the fifth. Caudill led off with a single, and Cam Richardson sacrificed him to second. Bruner had an 0-2 count on number nine batter Seth Johnson, but the count went full, and Johnson fouled off a couple of pitches before Bruner got him out. Then he got leadoff hitter Colton Hurt on a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars added an insurance run. Harper hit a deep fly ball past leftfielder Logan Alderson. Hurt picked the ball up at the fence, but his foot apparentlygot caught in the fence and his throw fell weakly to the ground. Harper circled the bases. The official scorer—after much deliberation—ruled that it was a double and a two-base error. In the scorebook of the Cougar assistant coach in charge of stats, Adam Decker, it was recorded as an inside-the-park home run. Either way, it was an extra-base hit that placed a crucial second run on the home team’s side of the scoreboard.

A couple of eye-popping defensive plays helped preserve that lead. With one out in the sixth, Franklin’s outstanding senior catcher, Tim Wimpee, hit a fly ball that looked like it was going to be a home run as it soared toward the leftfield fence. But junior outfielder Daniel Beaty caught the ball on the dead run with his back to the plate for the second out.

That proved to be very important, since Austin Johnson singled as the next batter. Bruner struck out Knight for the second time to end the inning,

Then to start the seventh, Caudill hit a slow roller left of the mound. Holliday, the third baseman, scooped up the ball and got it to Britt for the out. Bruner then struck out Richardson and got Alderson to fly out to Riley in centerfield to end the game.

Bruner gave up four hits and no walks while striking out six in getting his ninth win in 10 decisions with one no decision. He ran his strikeout total to 107 while lowering his regular season earned run average of 1.160. His walk total remained at 18 and his earned runs allowed at 10 in 67.1 innings.

“I think he should be named most valuable player in the region,” says Meguiar, who is in his 18th season as head coach of his alma mater.

Caudill allowed 10 baserunners in six innings on the mound. Harper reached base three times with Wood and Bruner getting on twice each. Devin Gregory—perhaps the region’s top closer—got out all three Cougars he faced in the seventh, although Baldwin hit a deep fly ball that landed just inches foul near the fence.

The draw for regional pairings will be held Saturday morning at Warren East High School. All eight teams are expected to play at WKU on Monday, Memorial Day.

Cougar history

Since the year and century 2000 arrived, Coach Ethan Meguiar’s teams have won the 13th District championship eight times and finished as runner-up six years. Only once in the 15 years of this century (2004)have the Cougars gone one and out. Even in the lowest era of Cougar baseball (2008-2011) when the team suffered four losing seasons in five years, the Cougars continued to reach the regional tournament each year in a district that has them paired with Russellville and Todd Central along with Franklin.

This is the only the third time in Cougar baseball history that the team has won four straight district championships. The first came in the school’s first four seasons (1983-86) when David Billingsley was the coach. The next was from 1992-95 when David Ward and Chris Sounder each coached two seasons.

In their 32-year-history, the Cougars have won 18 district championships and placed second nine times. In only five years has the team been one-and-done.

The 26-win total so far this year ties the school record for victories in a season with last year’s state tournament team, and this one can add to the total. This year’s seniors—Ian Woodall, Jacob Wood, Joe Holliday and Lucas Dean—have been part of 98 wins in their four years of high school. In comparison, the first four Cougar district champions won 62 games and that second group won 57. The teams from 2000-2003, who won three titles in four years and went to the 2000 regional finals, won 77 games.

For more information on Logan County baseball history on The Logan Journal, go to

Copyright © The Logan Journal 2009 - 2024