Northview pitching duo hold Trojans down at the plate, 3-1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Sports Writer

Scoring runs has been a problem for the Charles Henderson high school baseball team for most of the season.

And the trend continued in game one of a doubleheader with Northview Tuesday night.

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The Trojans managed just one run and four hits against the Cougar pitching duo of Brandon Ward and Jason Myers and Jason Hightower hit a two-run homerun as Northview held off CHHS 3-1 at Hogan’s Hole.

Game two was suspended with the Cougars leading 8-6 in the top of the sixth after the home plate umpire was struck in the elbow with a pitch and taken to the hospital. A make-up date or completion of the game will be decided at a later date.

After Northview grabbed a 1-0 lead on an error in the top of the second of game one, Clint Pugh singled and Justin Sims reached on an error to put runners at first and second with nobody out in the bottom half of the inning. But the promise of a big inning ended almost as quickly as it started when Cougar third baseman Hal Senn made a diving catch on Pete Van Horn’s bunt to start an amazing triple play to end the threat and the inning.

The play set the tone for the rest of the game as the Trojans’ scoring chances were scarce from then on.

"We had two bad breaks where we had a possibility to get something going," CHHS head coach Steve Garrett said. "We had runners at first and second with no outs and that’s the first triple play I’ve ever seen. The bunt was tough to read, it was kind of a line drive, low at the guy’s feet, and both my guys took off, they thought it was down I guess and all they (NV) had to do was throw it from base to base. That took us out of a big inning, but I don’t even know if that’s a mistake because it was very hard to read."

"And we had another situation where we had one out, a 2-0 count and had a hit-and-run on and my DH lets it go by and the guy gets thrown out at second. If he just swings at the ball, its possible to get another step going to second base. Those are the type of mistakes we’ve been making."

Ward kept CHHS off-balance for most of the game. He allowed seven base runners in five and two-thirds innings of work, fanning just two, but using a lethal curve ball to force nine ground ball outs and keep the Trojan offense in check.

Trojan pitchers’ Van Horn and Sims combined to keep the Trojans in the game, allowing three runs and scattering nine hits over seven innings, but Hightower’s home run in the third proved to be the


CHHS cut the deficit to 3-1 in the sixth as Chase Kelly drove home Brett Pierce with a single, but the Trojans would get no closer as Myers closed out the final inning and a third with no damage as the Cougars improved to 16-6.

"Northview is an excellent team, there’s no doubt about it," Garrett said. "They do the things right, they’re very fundamentally sound and hitting-wise, you get a runner at second and the hitter gets two strikes on them, they’re going to give you a ground ball to the right side and move the runner over. You get a runner at third, you get two strikes, they’re going to put the ball in play and get the runner over. That’s what I’ve tried to drill into my guys’ heads over and over again, you cannot go down swinging, you have to put the ball in play on the ground to move runners. We just didn’t do a good job of executing."

CHHS falls to 7-13 heading into an Area 2 showdown with Carroll-Ozark Friday night at Charles Henderson.