By ROB HAMILTON
Mount Gilead got off to a fast start Friday at home against Ridgedale in taking a 13-3 victory.
The Indians scored four runs in the opening inning and three more in the second to stake themselves to a 7-0 lead. Ridgedale picked up three runs of their own in the fourth inning, but Mount Gilead was able to finish the game off in five innings thanks to a six-run fifth frame that was enough to give them a 10-run-rule win.
Noah Arrington struck out four and walked two to pick up the win. Offensively, Xavier Harris had a double and single, while Michael Bland added a double and Arrington helped his cause with a pair of base knocks.
On the previously day, the team’s 10-9 win over Centerburg was far less routine. Competing on the road, the Indians came back from an early 1-0 deficit by scoring three in the third and one in the fourth. However, Centerburg battled back to score three in their half of the fourth and two more in the fifth to jump in front 6-4.
Mount Gilead put six runs up in the top of the seventh to take a commanding four-run lead, but then watched their hosts score three in the bottom of the inning to nearly tie things back up before Arrington got the final out to preserve the win.
Ben Hayes picked up the win in relief of starter Harris, while Arrington got the save. The trio combined to strike out six and walk three.
Harris finished with a double and two singles. Both Billy Colflesh and Hayes had two singles, while Michael Bland and Tyler Bland both added doubles.
Northmor’s week opened with a 4-2 loss at home to Cardington on Monday. Both teams scored twice in the first inning and the game remained at 2-2 until the seventh frame, when the visiting Pirates put up two runs in the top of the inning and held onto that lead through the bottom of it.
Travis Boyd got the win for the Pirates, striking out four and walking one, while scattering nine hits. For Northmor, Zach Carroll struck out 10, while pitching a two-hitter, but walked four. The Knights got a double and two singles from Zach Neuman and two singles from Daniel Donner.
The next day saw the Knights get held to one hit in a 12-0 five-inning loss to Highland at home. Jett Swetland got the win for the Scots, striking out three and walking two in the game. He was backed up by a 10-hit offensive performance. Jeremy Gahm had a double and two singles, while Dalton Stambaugh had a double and single and Byron Belcher finished with a double. Also, Andrew Stillwell picked up a pair of singles.
For the Knights, losing pitcher James Donner and Bryan Hammond combined to strike out four and walk five.
On Wednesday, the Knights suffered a heartbreaking loss at Ridgedale. Northmor scored three in the top of the second inning to hold an early 4-0 lead and still were up four at 6-2 entering the bottom of the seventh frame. However, Ridgedale picked up five runs in that inning to finish with a 7-6 win. Jake Farley finished with nine strikeouts and three walks, while scattering seven hits in the contest. Only one of the seven runs Ridgedale scored were earned.
“Jake deserved a lot better fate,” said head coach Buck Workman. “We only made two errors, but they directly led to six of the seven runs scoring. It’s been Murphy’s Law this week.”
Farley also had four hits in the game, including a double. Carroll added a single and double.
However, on Friday, the Knights were able to reverse their luck with an 8-6 win over Fredericktown to give the Freddies their first league loss of the year.
After Northmor scored twice in the top of the first inning, Fredericktown bounced back with five straight runs to take the lead. However, Northmor tied the game with three in the top of the fifth and then added three more in the seventh frame. Fredericktown scored once in their half of the inning, but would not be able to catch up to their opponents.
“I’m very proud of the effort tonight,” said Workman. “We didn’t get down when we gave up the lead and continued to compete. All year long, our Achilles heel has been stranding runners. Tonight, we were able to get some huge two-out hits to plate some big runs.”
Carroll earned the win for the Knights, striking out 11 and walking four, while scattering 10 hits. Jarod Vanderkooi picked up two doubles and a single for the Knights, while Carroll had a two-run home run in the fifth and a single. James Donner added two singles and Neuman blasted a solo homer, also in the fifth inning.
Rob Hamilton may be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 204.