Columbus North baseball coach Ben McDaniel had his team stay for around 90 minutes to have a heart-to-heart talk with them following Saturday’s Conference Indiana Tournament losses at Franklin Central because he was concerned about their energy and approach to the game.
The Bull Dogs got the message, and Tuesday night, they took a step in getting back on the right track. North got the bats going and took advantage of miscues to win 9-4 against Greenwood.
“We had a couple spots in our lineup that haven’t gotten production,” McDaniel said. “Our approaches have increased. The guys that have been putting the ball in play and had good approaches the entire year. If we can get the other approaches in the rest of the lineup, we’ll be a lot better.”
The Bull Dogs (11-10) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. North took advantage of a couple of errors, and then a Casper Clark RBI-single gave the Bull Dogs a 2-0 lead.
The Woodmen committed a couple more errors, and Grant Trinkle had an RBI-single, Cooper Trinkle an RBI-double, and Kevin Thompson an RBI single to push the lead 5-0 after two innings.
“We had an edge, and we had something to prove,” said Clark, who earned the win on the mound. “We had a rough game against (Greenwood) last year. We showed what we had going. We did really well and gelled together as a team and had a lot of positivity going through the dugout.”
The Woodmen (8-14) put up a fight and didn’t go away quietly. In the third inning, North had a couple of miscues and that led to Greenwood stringing the hits together to cut the lead to 5-4.
“That was something I talked to them about after the game, and that was eliminating the bad inning,” McDaniel said. “It gets hard on a pitcher to stay focused out there for so long. Casper, for a freshman, did a very good job the entire game. His approach on the mound is just fantastic. He doesn’t get rattled and doesn’t let things get to him.”
In the fifth, Cooper Trinkle had an RBI-single, and Parker Maddox smacked an RBI-double to extend the lead to 8-4. In the sixth, Thompson added an RBI-single for the final run.
Clark pitched a complete game and struck out five.
“I did pretty well, but I just can’t let that big inning happen because that is what wins and loses ballgames” Clark said.