The Columbus North baseball team found itself playing catch-up for much of Saturday afternoon’s game against Roncalli.
A big sixth-inning rally, however, quickly erased thoughts of coming up short.
After struggling at the plate early on in the game, the Bull Dogs got six runs on six hits to break open the score and prevail 13-8 in a game that lasted almost three hours.
The Bull Dogs (10-3) are now on a seven-game winning streak after starting the season 3-3.
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Trailing 8-7 going into the sixth, North quickly loaded the bases. Parker Maddox tied the game on a fielder’s choice, and then Canaan Baum sent home another run when he was hit by a pitch. Cooper Trinkle knocked in two runs with a single, and Brice McDaniel capped it off by blasting another single to right field to score two more.
The bottom of the lineup for the Bull Dogs kept the game within distance in the fourth and fifth innings. Nolan Wetherald and Korry Drum each produced singles in the fourth and RBI singles in the fifth to spark minor rallies.
“We spent a lot of time hitting this week and I am starting to see the ball well,” Wetherald said. “I just came up (to the plate) with a mind approach to do what it takes to help my team win.”
“Our coach (Ben McDaniel) has a lot of confidence in the bottom of the lineup,” Drum added. “We needed to respond to at least chip away from their lead, and we finally came away with a big inning that got us going and it played out in our defense.”
Ben McDaniel had plenty of praise for the guys in the bottom half of his batting order.
“They have been great all year, to be honest,” he said. “Some of them are new to varsity, but they have a lot of experience. They worked hard all winter and were waiting to contribute and produce this year.”
Brice McDaniel hit a two-out RBI single to score the first run of the game in the third inning. Roncalli came back in the top of the fourth with three runs off of two hits to take over the lead, 3-1.
Bull Dogs starting pitcher Collin Lollar pitched five innings before giving way to Parker Maddox, who earned the win in relief.
Once North secured the lead for good in the sixth, Maddox retired the Roncalli batters in order in the top of the seventh inning.