Columbus North was tied with Class 3A No. 2 Greensburg 4-4 after nine innings of play Saturday.
In the 10th, the Bull Dogs decided it was time for a change.
After Will Dorenbusch led off the inning with a walk, Christian Glass laid down a sacrifice bunt. After Glass was out at first, Pirates first baseman Tom Lawrence tried to go for a double play and threw the ball to second, but the ball was overthrown allowing Dorenbusch to go to third.
Cooper Trinkle struck out on a wild pitch and headed toward first. When Greensburg catcher Josiah Buell threw to first for the out, Dorenbusch came home, and the tag at the plate came too late, allowing North to win Game 2 of the doubleheader 5-4.
The Bull Dogs won the first game 20-10 in five innings. That win, however, came with a scary moment.
Starting pitcher Collin Lollar was hit by a line drive to the head and was down on the ground for several minutes while getting checked out by trainers and medical staff. Luckily for Lollar, the ball hit the tip of his cap first and absorbed most of the impact before hitting him in the head.
Lollar miraculously stayed in the game to finish out the inning. North coach Ben McDaniel decided to take out Lollar after he finished out the inning to have him further evaluated.
After he was checked out between games, Lollar was clear to play in the second game and McDaniel wasted no time inserting him into the starting lineup.
The Pirates struck first in Game 2, when Macy Holdsworth blasted a two-run homer in the first inning. The Bull Dogs did not strike back until the fourth, when Cody Burton grounded out to first, and Brice McDaniel was caught in a rundown trying to go home.
Brice McDaniel fell down and looked to be tagged out, but came home when the ball fell to the ground and was called safe to make it 2-1. The play caused Greensburg coach Scott Holdsworth to argue the play for several minutes
saying that he was running out of the baseline.
“I thought Brice was in the baseline the entire time,” Ben McDaniel said. “I didn’t get a good look to see if he was tagged so I can’t comment further on that part of the play.”
North would go ahead 4-3 in the seventh, when Lollar led off with a triple and would eventually score off of a Brice McDaniel bunt that led to a Pirates error on the throw.
“I stayed back and waited for the right pitch,” Lollar said.
Lollar also had a double, a single and scored another run earlier in the game.
“I was down in the count early, so I crowded the plate hoping for an outside pitch,” Lollar said. “When that pitch came, I made good contact, which led to the triple.”
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Ben McDaniel decided to pitch to Macy Holdsworth instead of intentionally walking him. The plan backfired as Macy Holdsworth smacked his second home run to tie the game at 4-4.
“I wanted to challenge my guys to see if they were up to the task of shutting him down,” Ben McDaniel said of the decision. “It was a worst-case scenario that happened, but my guys were confident in the extra innings to get the job done.”
“I pitched a great game except for my miscues against Macy,” said Burton, the starting pitcher.
Burton recorded seven strikeouts and allowed only two walks in his outing.
“I located the pitch where I wanted to, but he is such a great hitter and that is why he is playing at Indiana University next year,” Burton said.
“Cody responded well after being down early,” Ben McDaniel said. “He was refocused, took control of the game, and shut them out the next five innings.”
In the opener, the Bull Dogs pounded out 18 hits and took control with an eight-run second inning. Canaan Baum, who replaced Lollar on the mound in the third, picked up the win.
Devin Mann went 3 for 4 a home run, two doubles and three RBIs, Evan Finke went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Burton went 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Dorenbusch went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and Baum and Lollar each went 2 for 4 with three RBIs.