Columbus North did not waste any time in putting up runs on the scoreboard Tuesday night.
The Bull Dogs scored 12 times in the first three innings and cruised to a 12-1 Conference Indiana East Division victory against Franklin Central.
North (9-4, 1-1) appears to be back on the right track with its third win in a row following a disappointing loss to Shelbyville one week ago.
Bull Dog freshman starting pitcher Casper Clark had three solid innings on the mound to earn the win. He retired six straight batters the first two innings.
Clark ran into a jam in the third, when the Flashes (0-8, 0-2) had two hits and a walk to load the bases. But Clark was not fazed and recorded the final out via strikeout to keep runs off of the scoreboard.
“My command has been good for me this year because it was something I struggled with last summer,” Clark said. “I’m working on accuracy and spots, and our catcher, Nolan (Wetherald), helps me out a lot with that too.”
North coach Ben McDaniel was hesitant at first on whether if he should keep Clark in for the full game with his pitch count rising. But with a big game against Roncalli coming up on Saturday, McDaniel wanted to give him rest.
“He is really composed for a freshman,” McDaniel said. “He didn’t seem to get too rattled. If he gives up a hit, it doesn’t really get to him. He just goes after the next batter.”
Tyler Finke and Wade Rankin started the first inning for the Bull Dogs with singles. Cooper Trinkle then smacked a double in the left-center field gap that bounced near the warning track and hit the fence for a double that scored both Finke and Rankin for a 2-0 lead. Trinkle then scored on a Kevin Thompson sacrifice fly to center.
In the bottom of the second, North tallied five runs on five hits. Wetherald led off with a double, and Korry Drum singled. Rankin and Thompson each slapped RBI-singles, and Parker Maddox capped it off with an RBI-double to extend the lead to 8-0.
The Bull Dogs put the game away with four additional runs in the third inning.
“We got back to what we started the year with and that is creating chaos on the bases,” McDaniel said. “It got to their pitcher (Cole Rigsby) a bit because he was throwing a good game. We have the speed, and I think we’re seeing a lot better discipline on the basepaths here recently and that’s what we put out today.”