Purple Cats claw Bulldogs for five runs in sixth, win 13-7

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2010

After five innings of trading blows, Ariton exploded for five runs in the sixth inning to propel the Purple Cats to a 13-7 win over Pike County Tuesday.

The two teams were tied at 7 heading into the sixth inning before Ariton’s Jacob Peters hit a two-RBI single to right field.

Peters came around to score later in the inning on an error, and Dylan Burnham drove in two more runs with another single to right field to give Ariton a 12-7 lead.

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Pike County threatened to rally in the bottom half of the sixth when it loaded the bases with no outs.

However, Zack Ming grounded into a fielder’s choice, followed by strikeouts from Ethan Shirah and Deion Nickson to end the inning with no runs scored.

The first five innings saw the two teams take turns scoring runs, as Ariton took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, only to see the Bulldogs respond with five of their own in the bottom of the first.

Both teams scored a run each in both the second and fourth innings, setting the stage for Ariton’s sixth inning explosion.

Following the loss, PCHS head coach Nathan Fordham said the Bulldogs must improve defensively in the days ahead.

“We’ve got to do a better job of making the routine plays,” Fordham said.

“Those errors we’ve been making have to be outs. I’ve preached sure defense to them, but we just broke down in spots.”

Despite his displeasure with the team’s effort on defense, Fordham said the Bulldogs have already shown plenty of improvement at the plate.

“Our sticks are really starting to come around,” Fordham said.

“We’re about a hundred times better than we were this time last week, so we’re real proud of our guys at the plate. If we can just shore up the defense some, we’ll be just fine.”

PCHS will be back in action Thursday at Goshen.