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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tri-County North - League Champs

Tri County North wrapped up their regular season as CCC league champs this week.  Add to that the fact that they were undefeated in league play. But it was not an easy road as North had 4 one run wins in their last 5 games.  Their last game of the season, they did win by a large margin, but it wasn’t until the last inning that they piled on the runs.  They were supposed to play Madison (non-league) on Saturday, but that game was rained out and with the state tournament starting on Monday, it is unlikely that the game will be played.

The last two league foes this week were Arcanum and Bradford.  Arcanum fought hard before going down 2-1.  Austin Hutchins was the winning pitching in this outing with 7 strike outs.  At the plate Justin Elmore was 2-2 with a RBI, Kyle Edgin was 1-2 with a double and RBI, Kodey Hawthorne was 2-3
Coach Gray commented on the game, “They came out and played us very well. Both teams played hard offensively and defensively.  The pitchers came out and threw good games.  We just ended up on top – the kids stepped up when they needed to and we got some timely hits.  Arcanum always plays us good and right now we have a big X on our backs because we are undefeated and everyone wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

In their league finale, North faced Bradford who features Brandon Wysong a strong senior pitcher who has been looked at by a few colleges.  However North was able to get on the fast ball thrower early and score 3 runs in the first inning.  When Bradford answered back with 3 runs of their own the third, North switched pitchers to Nick Gray who finished out the game.  Hunter Gleadell was the starting pitcher – coming off an injury, but Coach Gray did not want to give Bradford any breathing room in this game. North was up 8-3 in the late in the game, but caught fire and had a 10 run 7th inning to put an exclamation mark on a championship season.   

Stats for the game:Grey had 5 strikeouts,  Gleadell had 2 strikeouts,  Edgin 2-3 with a double,  Elmore 4-5 with a double and home run – 5 RBI’s ,  Hutchins 2-3 with a double and a home run and 4 RBI’s.  Stephan Miller had a home run and 2 RBI’s.

After the game coach Gray remarked on Gleadell, “It was a close game, and he was a little rocky and little nervous – he just came back 2 weeks ago from an injury and so I put Nick Gray in and he pitched 4 good innings for us.  Bradford’s Wysong pitched well, we were just able to get on him early.  His other 3 years in the league, we had never faced him – and I was impressed.   He had problems getting his breaking pitch over and we were able to capitalize on that by jumping on his fast ball.”

Next I asked coach Grey about the season – the 4 one run ball games down the stretch, “Pitching is what wins those one run ball games.  We have had solid pitching this entire year.  Hitting wise we have done well, we have had some problems with certain pitchers and we try to work on our weakness as we can.  We went to extra innings against South, it took 9 innings to get that win.  And against Covington we had 9 errors – I don’t know how we won that game – that was not a good game for them.  We had to reset their focus after that game.”

The season, “Overall it’s been a good season, thanks to a great group of kids.  They have been resilient and they have set goals, and remained focused on those goals.  One of those goals was to win the league and they have done that.  The next goal is make regional , but we need to focus on each game in the tournament to accomplish that.”

So congrats to TCN for a championship season.  They will host the winner of Brookville vs. Northridge on Wednesday at Lewisburg.  So be sure and turn out to support the Panthers as they go for their next goal.