INDIANAPOLIS — One word could describe the Columbus North baseball team’s performance in the Conference Indiana Tournament on Saturday.
The Bull Dogs went scoreless while dropping two games in the consolation bracket to finish in eighth place in the conference. Columbus North fell to Bloomington North 6-0 in the first game and lost the second game to Franklin Central 2-0 in the seventh-place contest.
Hits were hard to come by for the Bull Dogs, who had only two against the Cougars and only a single hit against Flashes starting pitcher Cade Fitzpatrick.
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“We’ve been struggling with consistency all year,” Columbus North coach Ben McDaniel said. “We had two good pitching performances today, and we could never get the bats going. We had a couple of errors that are uncharacteristic of us.”
The Bull Dogs (10-9) committed two errors against Franklin Central and four errors against Bloomington North that cost the Bull Dogs some runs.
“We threw a couple of balls away that we should not have,” McDaniel said. “We were trying to do too much. We’re pressing a little bit instead of letting our natural ability of what they have been taught take over.”
Columbus North has been healthy for most of the season, but was a little shorthanded Saturday. Cooper Trinkle sat out with a pinched sciatic nerve. McDaniel said Trinkle could return Monday against Fishers, but will err on the side of caution with the intention of his players being 100 percent healthy for the sectional.
In the first inning of the Franklin Central game, Wade Rankin was hit on his left forearm by a pitch. He still managed to stay in the game, but in his next at bat, he had trouble swinging and hitting the ball, and the pain became too much and he had to exit the game. Rankin will get checked out by doctors and likely have an X-ray scheduled in the coming days.
“(The athletic trainer) thinks it could be a deep bruise or a minor fracture, but the test will let us know what’s going on,” McDaniel said. “Wade is a warrior, though, and if he can be out there, he will be out there. The important thing is, though, we want these guys back for sectional.”
The Flashes picked up both their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Chris Ford led off with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly. Bryce Healey knocked in the other run with a single.
The loss is the fifth in six games for the Bull Dogs, who hope to right the ship when sectional play begins May 24.