Seymour coach Jeremy Richey had decided to pull his starting pitcher Ryan Wieneke after five innings Friday, and on most occasions the junior righty would have received a standing ovation.
Facing offensive powerhouse Columbus North, Wieneke had given up just four hits in a very admirable outing.
But this has been a special Bull Dogs squad that finds ways to win. By the time Wieneke left, host North had a 5-0 lead on its way to a 9-1 victory.
“They’ve got so many weapons you just can’t give them anything,” Richey said of Columbus North, which raised its record to 15-1. “We gave them too much.
“But it’s just one of those things. For us, this is a maturation process. You have a lot of young guys out there.”
The key for North was another terrific pitching performance, this time from sophomore Nathan VanDeventer, who gave up no earned runs and five hits in his complete game.
North brought a 1.87 ERA into the game, and VanDeventer sent that mark even lower.
“Our pitching definitely has been a surprise for us,” said North coach Ben McDaniel. “Our team goal was to have an ERA of 2.5 or better, and we are well below that.”
Seymour’s only run came in the sixth when sophomore Satoshi Hirose led off the inning with a double, went to third on a ground out and scored on an error.
About the only other offensive highlight for the Owls, who fell to 8-5, were two singles by senior Seth Stuckwisch.
“That’s a good team, and I was happy the way we fought through the game,” Richey said. “Ryan (Wieneke) was over 90 pitches so I pulled him. We want to build depth for our future.”
North scored two runs in the second inning without a hit. Cody Burton and Collin Lollar walked and both scored when Jon Cox’s grounder to short went through into left field for an error.
The Bull Dogs added two more in the third as Canaan Baum led off with a single and scored on Devin Mann’s crushed triple into the right center field gap. Mann scored on the play when the Owls, who committed five errors, fumbled the relay throw.
Lollar knocked in a run with an RBI single in the fifth to make it 5-0 and the Bull Dogs put the game away with four runs in the sixth off reliever Luis Munoz. Cox led off the inning with a walk and eventually scored on an error.
Brice McDaniel launched a three-run moon shot over the right-field fence to complete the scoring.
“Some of our at-bats are not where they need to be,” Brice McDaniel said. “But that’s always pleasant (to have a big lead when the team isn’t hitting well). I don’t think we have come close to our full potential yet.”
His coach, and dad, agreed. “Brice has a lot of work to do,” Ben McDaniel said. “His pitch selection is not the greatest and he keeps getting behind in the count.”
For the second consecutive game, Ben McDaniel called for several bunts, even at times when it seemed the Bull Dogs should be swinging away. However, he has been trying to make a point.
“We didn’t advance out of the regional last season because we couldn’t get a bunt down,” he said.