Pettisville took an early 1-0 lead, but that was quickly erased as North Central finished with 14 hits in a 10-2 Buckeye Border Conference baseball win over the Blackbirds Monday afternoon.
“You can only do so much against yourself,” Pettisville coach Paul Bishop said about getting to play the first game of the year after postponements last week. “It’s been that way for every team around, too. It opens our eyes for what guys need to work on.”
The Eagles left a runner stranded at third in the opening frame, and it looked good for Pettisville in the bottom of the inning when the Blackbirds put their first two runners on.
They were at second and third with one out when Dillon King stepped to the plate. He hit a pop-up behind the bag at first that the North Central second baseman grabbed, but slid and had his back to the infield. Austin Horning, the runner at third, saw the play and was able to tag and score.
A swinging bunt ended the chance for the Blackbirds to have a big inning.
“We had the first two runners on base, that’s a huge opportunity to score,” admitted Bishop. “That just didn’t happen. We got the one run, but it felt like a letdown to be honest.”
North Central had no trouble with big innings after that. The Eagles tied the game in the second, then tacked on two runs in the third, four in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 9-2 lead.
“The thing you got to do is shut the door and get back to hitting again,” Bishop said of trying to battle back. “We didn’t do that.”
Pettisville scored its final run in the bottom of the fourth when Josh Horning lifted a sac fly to center to score King.
Colton Schmunk got in a groove after the shaky opening inning. He settled in and retired eight hitters in a row before King’s single in the fourth.
“We were watching some good pitches go by,” admitted Bishop. “And we were swinging at some that weren’t so good. We have to understand the zone every night and go out and attack and what pitches to swing at and what pitches to not swing at.”
Jack Bailey scored his third run of the game from the ninth spot in the batting order in the top of the seventh to make the final 10-2.
Logan Rufenacht pitched the first three innings for the Blackbirds and took the loss.
Austin Horning had a pair of singles to lead the seven-hit Blackbird offensive attack.
Pettisville next hosts Montpelier Thursday before traveling to Wauseon on Friday.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com