Lebanon Reporter

Local Sports

June 24, 2014

Merchants split with league-leading Cougars

The Lebanon Merchants maintained their second-place record Sunday afternoon, splitting a double header with the Midwest Prospect League's top team, the Franklin Cougars. After the Cougars took the first game 8-2, the Merchants won game two 8-0 to improve to 9-6 on the season. "(Franklin) is a solid team up and down the lineup," Lebanon manager Ron Ebert said. "They really have about 50 games on the rest of us because a majority of the team plays together for Franklin College. They have that background and experience of playing with one another. But I think we really match up well with them and we showed that (Sunday)." With the exception of a 7-run third inning in game one, the Merchants played well in the two games. In game two, Collin Armold threw a complete game 6-hitter to shutdown the Cougars' lineup. It was the last time the two top teams will meet in the regular season. Ebert said it was important to win that second game knowing they wouldn't see them again until the playoffs. "It really puts a stamp on the weekend to win that last one like that," Ebert said. "Their coach was getting a little frustrated because we were able to put the hammer down on them. Armold had them frustrated because he doesn't throw all that hard, but he throws strikes and mixes up his pitches. I have to give credit to (assistant) coach (Steve) Spolyar because we were going to have him throw game one, but Steve said it might be better to have him throw in game two. His plan came to fruition and now they have something to think about when we see them in the playoffs." The Merchants entered the weekend having lost three of four contests but were able to get two splits of double headers. Saturday they lost game one to Indy East 2-1 before winning game two 4-0. Ebert said the biggest challenge so far for the Merchants has been the lack of a consistent lineup. For more of this story, read Tuesday's Lebanon Reporter.

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