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Bull Dogs rip host Southport in 6 innings

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SOUTHPORT — The Columbus North baseball team continued its hot hitting in an 11-0 victory against host Southport in six innings.

The Bull Dogs, ranked No. 10 among Class 4A teams, ripped 12 hits. North junior Devin Mann picked up his 12th double of the season to set a team record in that category.

On the mound, Collin Lollar registered the shutout for the Bull Dogs, who are 18-5-1. Lollar allowed three hits and a walk and struck out six batters.

“That was Collin’s best pitching performance he has had all year,” North baseball coach Ben McDaniel said. “He was very efficient out there.”

“I was telling (Lollar) about getting ahead in the count      because we have struggled a little bit recently in terms of walking guys. That was a point of emphasis for tonight, and Collin did a fantastic job not allowing walks.”

Lollar said that McDaniel kept after him to maintain his focus and intensity all through the game. “I was keeping the balls down, and my fastball was great tonight.”

The Bull Dogs’ offense woke up after the second inning. North scored twice in the second as Hunter Liggett led off with a single and Lollar followed with another single. Mann knocked in Liggett with the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Lollar would score off a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.

The only trouble Lollar encountered came in the bottom of the fourth inning when he allowed two singles. The runners advanced to second and third, but his teammates backed him up with solid defense to wipe out the threat.

“Some of those balls were hit hard, but I was glad we stepped it up and kept the    shutout going,” Lollar said.

The Bull Dogs put the game away in the sixth. Lollar led off with a triple, and Mann drove him home with a double. Liggett, Jon Cox and Evan Finke added RBI during the nine-run inning.

“Before the start of the (sixth) inning, I challenged these guys to string some hits together,” McDaniel said. “They stepped it up and got the hits when they needed to.”

“We got off rather slow at first,” Mann said. “As the game went on, we got more focused and hit the ball better.

“Coach made sure we made good, clean, quality cuts.”

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