INDIANAPOLIS — The Columbus North baseball team still was understandably a bit shaken after a collision in last Friday’s game at Cathedral left a pair of starters sidelined heading into this week.
A Monday evening contest against a struggling young Southport club was just what the Bull Dogs needed.
Collin Lollar led off the second inning with a solo home run, and North turned four Cardinal errors into five runs in the fourth on the way to an 8-0 Conference Indiana victory.
“Saturday got rained out, and honestly it was probably the best thing for us,” North coach Ben McDaniel said. “We weren’t ready to play on Saturday. It was an adjustment today; the guys were very loose before the game, and I kind of let them stay that way.”
The Bull Dogs (12-3, 3-0) only collected seven hits on the day, but the only one they needed came when Lollar ripped the first pitch he saw out past the left-field wall.
“I was going up there looking first-pitch fastball,” Lollar explained, “and I got it, so I took it over.”
That was enough for Nathan VanDeventer, who scattered four hits over five innings. The only real trouble he faced came in the second inning, when the Cardinals put their first two runners on and the senior escaped with a strikeout and a double play.
Jakob Moore capped off the shutout, yielding just one hit over the final two innings.
Any doubt about the outcome was erased in the fourth, when North stretched the lead to 6-0 thanks largely to some ill-advised miscues by the Cardinals (1-12, 0-3).
Brice McDaniel drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a base hit by Lollar. A throwing error on a steal attempt allowed McDaniel to score, and another bad throw on a bunt single by Ben Thompson pushed Lollar across. Two more throwing errors plated Thompson and VanDeventer, and Nolan Wetherald scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
North added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings without a hit. Lollar walked, moved to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, and Wetherald scored an inning later when he walked, stole second and third and came home on Southport’s sixth and final error of the game.
Lollar said that the Bull Dogs were eager to get back to business after the injuries to Canaan Baum and Tyler Finke on Friday made for an emotional weekend.
“Saturday was more of a grieving day,” Lollar said, “but today, we’ve been talking to them and stuff, and they wanted us to come out here and kick some butt, so that’s what we did.”
The Bull Dogs will bring a nine-game winning streak into Wednesday’s game against Columbus East — and McDaniel said that Baum could be back in the lineup by then, pending the results of his concussion test.