By KEVIN HARRIS
JEFFERSONVILLE – After competing in an intense pitchers’ duel with Austin’s Drew Buhr on Saturday at Don Poole Field, Jeffersonville starter Jacob Cochrum came out smelling like a rose.
Cochrum pitched a two-hit shutout to lead the Red Devils to their first victory of the season 1-0. The senior right-hander struck out 11 Eagles and walked none. Cochrum retired the final nine batters he faced as he handed Class 2A No. 4 Austin (6-1) its first loss of the season.
Cochrum did an efficient job of mixing his fastball, curve and change-up to keep Austin hitters off-balance. The Eagles’ two hits were a double by catcher Gavin Napier and a single by right fielder Peyton Hollan.
“Jacob does a really good job with all of his pitches,” Jeff head coach Derek Ellis said. “He doesn’t throw it extremely hard. But his curveball and his change-up are really, really good and he throws them for strikes consistently. We’ve seen a lot of that out of Jacob over the years. We just want to find a way to get him some more runs and a little more breathing room instead of having him go out there and grind it out and work as hard as he’s working.”
Despite earning his first loss of 2017, Buhr put on his own solid performance on the hill.
The right-hander surrendered one earned run on three hits. He posted seven strikeouts and issued three walks.
“He obviously pitched great in my opinion,” Ellis said. “He was doing the things that he needed to do and his offense didn’t produce for him. Really, it was going to come down to who was going to score first.”
The biggest mistake Buhr made was a solo home run to Jeff second baseman Gabe Bierman over the left-field fence to lead off the bottom of the second.
“You don’t expect Bierman to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Ellis said. “But he’s got some pop. When he hits it, he does hit it hard.”
Red Devil shortstop Bailey Falkenstein was the only player to have a multihit game, going 2-for-3 against Buhr. Both of Falkenstein’s hits were singles.
Jeff tried to get something going on offense in both the fourth and sixth innings. But in each of those frames, Napier threw out a Red Devil trying to steal second base with one out.
“We didn’t make adjustments at Floyd Central (in a 5-1 loss last Tuesday). We didn’t make adjustments in this game,” Ellis said. “They were pounding (pitches) away, away, away from us and we kept the bats on our shoulders instead of going ahead and trying to do something with that pitch. We take it and we get into a hole and now we’re at the mercy of (Buhr’s) curveball. The kid’s curveball was pretty good. He threw it in the dirt consistently around the plate and you had to swing at it.
“We have to be better at the plate in making adjustments. Right now, we’re just not a very good offensive team.”
Even though his team’s offense is not where he wants it to be, Ellis was glad to get win No. 1 of the season.
“We’re very happy with the win,” Ellis said. “We would’ve liked to play a little bit better. But like I told the guys on the mound after the game, we’re not going to complain about it. We’re going to take it and we’re going to run with it.”
Jeff (1-3) will host Seymour at 6 p.m. Thursday. Austin will travel to Corydon Central at 6 p.m. Monday.
JEFFERSONVILLE 1, AUSTIN 0
Austin 000 000 0-0 2 2
Jeff 010 000 x-1 3 1
W – Jacob Cochrum (1-0). L – Drew Buhr (2-1). 2B – Gavin Napier (A). HR – Gabe Bierman (J).
Records – Jeff 1-3, Austin 6-1.