One bad half-inning proved costly for Mount Gilead in a 3-1 loss to Northmor at home on Tuesday.
The score was tied at one going into the top of the sixth inning, but a pair of misplayed pop-ups played a big role in the Golden Knights taking the lead. Garrett Corwin led off the inning by a high pop ball that wasn’t cleanly fielded, allowing him to take first base. After MG pitcher Jacob Lodge recorded a pair of outs via fly balls, Mostyn Evans also was able to reach base after another high pop-up wasn’t caught. The next batter, Hunter Mariotti, made the Indians pay, as he hit a long single that scored both runners.
“That’s a tough one to swallow right there,” said Mount Gilead coach Mark Kennon. “Jacob Lodge pitched a great game. We just had a couple mental errors and they cost us.”
Northmor made that 3-1 lead hold up, as Chris Bood finished the game in relief of starter Brayden Black by pitching two shutout innings, only giving up one baserunner due to hitting a batter.
Previously, neither team had much success in pushing runners across the plate, as Lodge and Black did a great job of pitching out of any adverse situations they found themselves in.
The first time either team advanced a runner past second base was in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Mount Gilead tallied the first run of the game. Paul Butterman opened the inning with a single and a botched pick-off attempt allowed him to sprint to third base for Kevin Ferrington to drive in with a single.
Black got the next two hitters out, but then hit Graham Simpson and walked Brady Seitz to lead the bases. However, he would record a strikeout to escape the inning with no further damage done.
“The fourth could have gone worse, but Brayden settled down and got a big out,” said Northmor coach Buck Workman. “It could have been a lot more than one run.”
A solo home run by Bood with one out in the fifth inning quickly tied the score. “Chris’ home run in the fifth was huge after we gave up a run,” said Workman.
Kennon noted that if his team had taken advantage of their runners on base earlier in the game, that blast would not have been so important.
“We didn’t have those key hits in key moments and that hurt us,” he said. “That solo home run would not have hurt us if we got those key hits early on.”
Northmor finished with four hits, including Bood’s home run. Black, who earned the win, and Bood combined to strike out 12, walk two and give up four hits. For MG, Lodge struck out four and gave up those four hits in suffering the hard-luck loss. Mitchell Bell cracked a double for the team.
After a pair of tough losses to league-leading East Knox, Workman was happy that his team was able to bounce back and get back into the win column.
“It was nice — we needed that,” said the coach. “After East Knox, we were licking our wounds, so to come back is good.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS