Fast start propels Cardington past Northmor
By ROB HAMILTON -
Northmor couldn’t recover from a slow start in losing 4–3 to Cardington’s baseball team Wednesday.
The Pirates took advantage of three early errors by the Knights to plate four runs over the opening two innings. While Northmor rallied in the final two frames, they fell one run short of their opponents.
“The kids were really pumped up to be here today,” said Pirate coach Charlie Miller after his team improved to 3–2 in league play and 4–7 overall. “This is one of those games you have to win if you want to be there in the conference.”
For the Knights, it was their first league loss, but they still lead the Blue at 3–1 in Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference play and are 8–3 overall. Head coach Buck Workman felt that his team struggled with impatience at the plate against starting pitcher Zach Lothes.
“We were swinging at too many bad 3–1 and 2–0 pitches,” he said. “We were over-aggressive at the plate. I think part of the reason we came back was because we went back to what made us successful.”
In the first inning, the Pirates took a 3–0 lead. Daron Landon led off with a walk, took second on an errant pickoff attempt and then scored on a misplayed ground ball hit by K.C. Brown. Then, with two on and two out, Andy Dever cracked a double that wound up scoring two runs after the throw home sailed past catcher Ronnie Thomas.
Cardington added a fourth run in the second inning when Chase Deckling drove in Alex Taha.
“We had two big errors in the first inning and in the second inning, we misplayed a fly ball, so essentially, all their runs were unearned,” said Workman. “We just put ourselves in too big a hole.”
Both Lothes and Northmor pitcher Zach Wiseman dominated the next few innings on the mound before the Knights started a comeback bid in the sixth.
“He threw strikes and kept their runners off the bases,” said Miller of Lothes, who only allowed one total baserunner in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
With the bases loaded in the sixth after a double by Wiseman, single by Thomas and walk to Zach Fout, Josh Corns drove in one run with a groundout before Lothes got out of the inning.
Then, in the seventh, a leadoff single by Charlie Burggraf caused Miller to replace Lothes on the mound with Brown.
The Knight loaded the bases and scored runs on an error on a ground ball hit by Brandon Taylor and a one-out single by Thomas. However, Brown would then retire the next two batters to preserve the win for Cardington.
“They’re a good team and well-coached,” said Miller of Northmor. “After the second inning, they shut us down offensively. Hats off to their pitcher.”
Lothes and Brown combined to strike out four and walk two. Dever’s double was Cardington’s only extra-base hit.
For Northmor, Wiseman finished with five strikeouts and two walks. Thomas had two hits for the team, while the pitcher attempted to help his cause with a double.