It was a pitcher’s duel early on between Seymour’s Satoshi Hirose and Columbus North’s Parker Maddox.
Hirose, however, gave the Bull Dogs a very small window of opportunity, and they capitalized.
In the bottom of the third inning, North’s Jeremias Dela Cruz singled with one out. After a sacrifice by Grant Trinkle moved Dela Cruz to third, Tyler Finke capped it off with an RBI single, and the Bull Dogs held on for a 1-0 victory.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and beat it out and get a hit in any way I can to score the run,” Finke said of his game-winning RBI. “This is one of the closest teams that I have ever been on. We’re real up right now. We’re feeling real good about ourselves. We know we can win games if we continue to play well.”
One run in most cases would not be enough to win a game, but Maddox’s stellar pitching on the mound proved to be a huge exception for the Bull Dogs (4-0). He finished with eight strikeouts and surrendered only three hits.
Maddox may have had some extra motivation. He was matched up with Hirose a year ago, but North was on the losing end. Tuesday night, however, the outcome was different.
“It was a very good pitchers’ duel,” North coach Ben McDaniel said. “Once we saw the matchups were going to be the same this year, Parker was excited about it and was ready to prove himself to show how much work he has put in from last year, and he did a fantastic job taking a no-hitter into the fifth. He got into a couple of jams, but he showed his growth and maturity that he was able to get out of there and not give up any runs.”
The best chance for the Owls (2-1) to tie the game came in the sixth. Alan Perry led off with a single and stole second. A sacrifice by Hirose moved Perry to third. Luis Munoz walked to put runners on the corners. Munoz came up with a heads-up play to steal second. Maddox, however, retired the next two batters to end the threat.
In the seventh, Tiller Cummings singled with two outs, but Maddox ended up recording the final strikeout to end the game.