4A No. 9 Bull Dogs upset 4A No. 7 Fishers

Ryan Rayburn

Columbus North baseball never has been shy about taking on quality competition, and this year, the Bull Dogs have shown that they can play with that competition.

Class 4A No. 9 North knocked off a higher-ranked opponent for the third time this season Monday night when they edged 4A No. 7 Fishers 2-1 in the Bull Dogs’ home finale.

“Fishers is an excellent program,” North coach Mike Bodart said. “They’re always going to compete, and they’re very disciplined. Anytime you compete with that (Hoosier Crossroads) conference that they’re in and come out with a win is a good day.”

North (17-4) got a big outing from senior Ryan Rayburn. Rayburn threw a four-hitter striking out four and walking two.

“I feel like the off-speed was working pretty well,” Rayburn said. “I think I could have located the fastball a little bit better. But other than that, a pretty good outing.”

The Bull Dogs jumped on the Tigers (19-8) in the bottom of the first. Connor Hensley led off with a double to center, went to second on a sacrifice by Blake Osbourne and scored on a single by Brock Kintner.

Fishers tied the game in the third on a two-out single by Deagan Repp. North scored the go-ahead run in the fifth when Sam Perry led off with a double to left and scored on a single by Hensley.

Connor Hensley

Hensley finished 2 for 3 for the Bull Dogs, who managed seven hits.

“It’s just a simple approach,” Hensley said. “As a leadoff hitter, your job is to get on, so I’m looking for either a first-pitch fastball or something in the (strike) zone that I can hammer, and that’s what I did.”

North had a chance to add to its lead when it had a runner on second with one out in the fifth and a runner on third with nobody out in the sixth, but couldn’t get them home.

“We had a couple situations where we thought we were setting ourselves up good for another run to tack on there and just didn’t quite get it done,” Bodart said. “But we did do a lot better executing today. We got some bunts down that we wanted to get down and came up with some good hits at the right time.”

Rayburn gave up two out hits in each of the final two innings, but got a popup to end the sixth and a strikeout to end the seventh.

“Having our team be in these big games and compete and win, really boosts the morale going into sectional,” Rayburn said.