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North rallies late against Mitchell

Mitchell Sectional First Round

June 04, 2008
A late rally helped the North Harrison baseball team advance in the Mitchell baseball sectional on Memorial Day as the Cougars scored four runs in the sixth inning for a 6-4 win.

"Late in the game, it could have went either way," North Harrison coach Greg Oppel said. "Mitchell is as good of coached baseball team in the state of Indiana that you're going to get. They do things the right way. When you beat a team like Mitchell, it makes you feel like you're doing things right."

The game went scoreless till the top of the fourth inning, when Mitchell took a 3-0 lead. Jake Shaw reached on safely on an error, then Bryce Bolton and Andrew Ritchison both walked to load the bases. Austin Caudell followed with a double to clear the bases for the three-run advantage.

The Cougars countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Adam Kiesler and Jim Bob Schuler both singled and then scored on a two-out single by Chad Eveslage that closed the gap to one, 3-2.

"We got down early and had a couple of errors," Oppel said. "Errors hurt you. We had some walks early. Then, we fought back. I always tell these boys, 'Put the ball in play.' When you put the ball in play, things are going to happen. We made a couple of timely hits. We shortened up the stick with two strikes, and look what happened. We went the other way with it."

Mitchell added another run in the top of the fifth for a 4-2 lead, and the Cougars began to look at the ground thinking their season was going to end earlier than they wanted.

"We have a habit of doing that," Oppel said. "That's why I really like to score first. We got into a gap, and I've got some great assistants that got them to get their heads up."

That turnaround came in he sixth inning.

Kiesler got his second hit of the day and then Schuler walked. With Dylan Janes batting, Mitchell went for a throwout to catch Schuler, but an overthrow allowed Kiesler to score from second. Janes walked, then Mitchell blew a double play allowing Schuler to score.

With two outs, Marcus Stone doubled to score Perry to put the Cougars up front. Following a Mitchell pitching change, Jordan Byrne singled to score Stone, the Cougars going up 6-4.

North Harrison held Mitchell in the top of the seventh to secure the win.

"One of the things I thought we did late in the game, we took a lot of pitches," Oppel said. "Early in the game we were swinging at too many early pitches. You've got to see the ball. That's an old cliche, you've got the see the ball. If you're up there and only see one or two pitches, you can't get you're timing down better. That's why schools like Austin, Floyd Central and Jeffersonville do such a great job, they take a lot of pitches. So, I thought we did a great job of seeing the ball."

"It's a good win for us," Oppel said. "It's a nice start, especially against a quality team. We beat a pitcher that's 5-1. He's the best in their conference. The kid throws pretty well and had a great breaking pitch. He had a heck of a changeup. I'm just tickled to death where we're at."

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