Although it seemed doubtful for a couple of innings Monday night, visiting Terre Haute North wound up with a solid high school baseball pitching performance in downing Class A's seventh-ranked Shakamak 8-3 in nonconference action.
The Patriots trailed 3-2 after two innings that could have been worse — Shakamak stranded five runners in those two innings — but starting pitcher Seth Tetidrick retired the last eight batters he faced and Tyler Will allowed just one infield hit in a three-inning stint for the save.
"When you can hit your spots and throw your secondary pitches for strikes, that makes it easy for your pitch-caller," North coach Scott Lawson — the pitch-caller — said after the game.
Shakamak, playing its fourth game in as many days — three Class 4A teams and one Class 3A opponent — needed two pitchers just to get out of the first inning, but freshman Jaxon Cox entered with one out, a run in and the bases loaded and immediately defused the situation, getting a double play when North courtesy runner Jace Russell was thrown out at third on Gage Neice's sacrifice fly to left field.
The Lakers got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on a double by Peyton Yeryar and a two-out RBI single by Cox, but left the bases loaded. In the bottom of the second, two Patriot errors combined with two hits and a walk to enable the Lakers to take a 3-2 lead on a two-run single by Oscar Pegg.
But with runners at second and third and just one out, Tetidrick got out of that inning with a strikeout and a harmless fly to left, then breezed through two perfect innings.
North took the lead for good in the top of the third on a walk, a fielder's choice grounder thrown to the wrong base to allow both runners to be safe, and a two-run double by Jace Ross — Ross's third RBI of the game, after a bases-loaded walk in the first.
North padded the lead in the top of the fifth with an unearned run. Cade Moore led off the inning with his second hit of the game, took second on an errant pickoff throw, went to third on Jayson Cottrell's grounder and scored on a passed ball.
But the Patriots managed to make an error in each of Will's three innings, and the Lakers had a big two-out threat in the bottom of the sixth when a walk and that inning's error brought Peyton Yeryar to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Will retired Yeryar on a fly to left, however, and his teammates got him some insurance in the bottom of the inning.
With two out and no one on, Will Egger and Ross did what they'd done all game long — walked, the third free pass of the game for both hitters. Pinch-hitter Bryson Carpenter lined a single into the right-center gap for an RBI, Logan Nicoson followed with a run-scoring single of his own, and Carpenter scored all the way from first base when Nicoson's hit was bobbled in the outfield.
"I think we've got a chance to be pretty good if we put the ball in play and avoid striking out," Lawson said after the game, referring to the Patriots' team speed and Carpenter's demonstration of that.
North made its fifth error of the game on the first batter in the bottom of the seventh — "We also made some pretty good plays," Lawson said, pointing out a double play started by Tetidrick and turned by Moore that got Will out of a fifth-inning jam — and Will issued a two-out walk, but he got a called third strike to end the game.
"There were a lot of things we didn't do right," said first-year Shakamak coach Jeremy Yeryar, a cousin to the two Yeryar's in Monday's lineup. "We had too many walks [by our pitchers] and too many strikeouts [by our hitters]."
The Lakers now get a couple of days off to breathe after losing Friday night at Jasper and splitting two games at Bloomington North on Saturday, losing to Northview but beating the host Cougars.
"We've been thrown to the wolves pretty well," coach Yeryar agreed.
TERRE HAUTE NORTH (AB-R-H-RBI) — Moore ss 4-2-2-0, Mason cf 2-2-0-0, Cottrell lf 4-1-0-0, Egger c 1-1-0-0, J.Ross 1b 1-1-1-3, Neice 3b 2-0-0-1, Carpenter ph-3b 1-1-1-1, Nicoson rf 4-0-1-1, Will 2b-p 4-0-1-0, Tetidrick p-2b 4-0-0-0. Totals 27-8-6-6.
SHAKAMAK (AB-R-H-RBI) — Burdette ss 4-1-1-0, P.Yeryar 1b-lf 3-1-1-0, Pegg c 4-0-1-2, B.Yeryar 3b 3-0-1-0, Stone p-1b 1-0-0-0, Cox p 3-0-1-1, Fulford lf-rf 2-0-0-0, Burris cf 3-0-0-0, Gallagher ph 1-0-0-0, Ellingsworth 2b 3-1-0-0, Cornelius dh 2-0-0-0, Barcus pr 0-0-0-0, Jernigan rf-p 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-3-5-3.
Terre Haute North=202=010=3=—=8
E — Moore, Cottrell 2, Pegg 2, Neice, Burris, P.Yeryar, Carpenter. DP — THN 1, Shakamak 1. LOB — THN 7, Shakamak 10. 2B — P.Yeryar, J.Ross. SF — Neice.
Terre Haute North=IP=H=R=ER=BB=SO
HBP — by Stone (Mason), by Cox (Mason). WP — Stone. PB — Egger, Pegg. T — 2:08.
Next — Terre Haute North (3-1) plays Tuesday at Sullivan. Shakamak (1-3) begins SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference play at 5:30 p.m. Friday against visiting North Daviess.