TERRE HAUTE —
No-hit through three innings, Terre Haute North’s bats came alive — especially Sam Wolf’s — just in time to rally for a 4-2 home victory over Mooresville in high school baseball Friday evening at Jennings Field.
The first pitch was delayed a little more than an hour to get the field playable following another afternoon shower.
With his team trailing 2-0, Wolf doubled off the left-center-field fence to plate Zach Milam from first base with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“On the double, [North] coach [Shawn] Turner said, ‘Just wait back, wait back. The ball’s coming slow.’ So I waited back on a hanging curveball and just hit it where it was pitched,” the big senior first baseman told the Tribune-Star afterward.
The Patriots tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth. With two outs, Lane Dransfield doubled into the right-center gap and advanced to third on a balk by Mooresville starting pitcher Zach Pygman before racing home on Jonathan Eilbracht’s infield grounder that resulted in an error.
Before the inning ended, Gabe Sevigny singled up the middle and Milam reached on his second walk of the day to load the bases. With freshman slugger T.J. Collett batting, catcher Brady Bain tried to pick off Eilbracht at third. But his throw hopped into left field, enabling the runner to sprint home and North to take a 3-2 lead.
Adding icing to the cake, Wolf greeted reliever Holden Roberts with an opposite-field bomb to right-center to lead off the sixth.
“[Roberts] was throwing it a little bit harder than the first guy,” Wolf noted. “He was keeping the ball around the strike zone and I hit a fastball … just hit it where it was pitched.”
“The first ball that he hit [for the double] was a towering shot,” Turner said of Wolf’s offensive performance. “He got out in front of it and hit it off the end of the bat, but that just goes to show you he’s a pretty strong kid.
“Then when he sat back on it [in the sixth], I don’t think there was any doubt about the ball that went over the center-field fence. That was a pretty good shot. … Sam’s a great hitter when he sits back and lets the game come to him. But like every other high school kid, sometimes he gets a little anxious.”
Tristan Pate, a sophomore right-hander, pitched a six-hit complete game to improve his record to 3-0. He struck out four batters while walking zero.
“Tristan settled in and did a really effective job after the first couple innings,” Turner pointed out. “He needed the innings.”
Despite chalking up its 17th win of the season, North managed only five hits.
“I thought we were awfully impatient early in the game,” Turner assessed. “Their pitcher [Pygman] did a nice job of trying to keep us off-balance. … I think we hit seven balls off the end of our bats.”
“Zach Pygman threw it well for the first five innings [allowing three hits],” Mooresville interim coach Kyle Davis said from the opposing dugout. “He faced only nine hitters through the first three innings. Anytime you can do that, that’s great.”
Mooresville’s leading hitters were Cody Bray (2 for 2 with an RBI triple in the second frame) and Bram Wood (2 for 3 with a double and stolen base).
On the negative side for Bray, he was picked off third base by catcher Collett in what appeared to be a promising second frame for the Pioneers and he was caught stealing second base later in the contest.
Next up for the Patriots will be a home Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) doubleheader against Carmel today, starting at 10 a.m.
North is 7-3 in the MIC, trailing first-place Terre Haute South by one game.
“They’ve got a good opportunity to play spoiler,” Turner said of the Greyhounds. “We’ve got a big day ahead of us.”
“We need to win out the MIC if we’re going to win the conference,” Wolf added.
Turner mentioned that junior righty Austin Hicks will be one of North’s starting pitchers today, with the other to be decided later.
South will face MIC foe Center Grove in a home doubleheader today.
Mooresville (ab-r-h-bi) — Norton cf 3-0-0-0, O’Dell ss 3-0-0-0, Bain c 3-0-1-0, Walters 3b 3-0-1-0, Wood rf 3-1-2-0, Gilbert 2b 2-1-0-0, Pygman p 1-0-0-1, Roberts p 0-0-0-0, Brinkley ph 1-0-0-0, Bray lf 2-0-2-1, Battenfield 1b 2-0-0-0. TOTALS 23-2-6-2.
Terre Haute North (ab-r-h-bi) — Sevigny ss 3-0-1-0, Milam 2b 1-1-0-0, Collett c 3-0-0-0, Wolf 1b 3-1-2-2, Will dh 3-0-0-0, Pate p 0-0-0-0, Long rf 3-0-1-0, Pittman lf 3-0-0-0, Dransfield cf 3-1-1-0, Eilbracht 2b 2-1-0-0. TOTALS 24-4-5-2.
Mooresville 020 000 2 — 2
Terre Haute North 000 121 x — 4
E — Pate, Collett, Gilbert, Bain. DP — THN 2. LOB — M 2, THN 4. 2B — Wolf, Dransfield, Wood. 3B — Bray. HR — Wolf (5). SH — Gilbert, Pygman. SB — Wood, Long. CS — Bray. Picked off — Bray.
IP H R ER BB K
Pygman (L, 1-1) 5 3 3 1 2 1
Roberts 1 2 1 1 0 2
Terre Haute North
Pate (W, 3-0) 7 6 2 1 0 4
Balk — Pygman. T — 1:31.
Next — North (17-3) will play host to Carmel for a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference doubleheader today, starting at 10 a.m. Mooresville (10-10) will be at home Monday to take on Terre Haute South.