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Crawford County’s Isaac Bowles (25) scores what proves to be the winning run in the 10th inning in the Wolfpack’s 7-6 win over the Cougars. Photo by Wade Bell

Crawford edges Cougars in 10

April 21, 2010
"We stole one tonight."

That's what Crawford County baseball coach Greg Gogel said after his team came away with a 7-6 win over host North Harrison in a 10-inning showdown Wednesday night. It was a game where the Wolfpack had to play catch-up after the Cougars had a big beginning.

"The bouncing ball found the right guys and in the right situation, and we were able to take advantage," Gogel said. "A win is a win, and I'm extremely happy. I think for the seniors here it might be the first time they've beat North Harrison, so I'll know they'll remember that."

Crawford County coach Greg Gogel
"We hit the ball well enough," North Harrison coach Gregg Oppel said. "We executed well enough. We stole several bases. We bunted well. We advanced the runners. We didn't field the ball. You have to make plays. You have to be able to get outs. To do that, you've got to field the baseball. … You've got to make the throw and you've got to catch it. We didn't do that tonight."

North Harrison got off to a roaring start with four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Following walks by Josh Wenning and Colin Book, Chad Eveslage slapped a single to score Wenning. Wyatt Faith then ripped a triple to score Book for a 2-0 lead, but Eveslage was tagged out as he tried to add another run. A sacrifice fly by Taylor Starcer allowed Faith to score. Then, Lincoln Jones and Joe Bolin reached base on hits, and another single, this one by Mitch Bolin, allowed Joe Bolin to score for a 4-0 Cougar advantage.

North Harrison coach Greg Oppel
"I think if you would ask (pitcher) Eric (Harned), he would tell you himself he was not sharp," Gogel said. "He was up in the zone and fell behind every single batter. If you do that against North Harrison, they swing the bat and they'll make you pay."

Crawford County got one of those runs back in the top of the third. The Wolfpack loaded the bases and Harned singled, pushing C.J. Shelton across the plate for their first run.

In the fourth inning, Crawford County got another run back when Zach Allen singled and stole second and Evan Aldridge ripped a single to score Allen.

Both teams blanked out in the fifth, but the Cougars added to their lead in the sixth with two runs: Joe Bolin scoring on a squeeze play and Josh Wenning scoring on an error.

The top of the seventh inning, however, saw the Wolfpack make their big move. Shelton singled and North Harrison then committed three straight errors to allow him to score with the bases loaded. Ethan Smith scored next on a passed ball. Jonathon Bowles followed with a stand-up double for two runs and suddenly the game was tied at six, meaning extra innings.

"Crawford County is tremendous," Oppel said. "They have great speed. They're so well-coached. Greg Gogel is a good friend of mine, and he's such a good coach. You can see it in his team. They execute well. They have a great mannerism."

Neither team scored in the next 2-1/2 innings. In the top of the 10th, Isaac Bowles slapped a lead-off single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Allen. With Aldridge at the plate, a passed ball by North Harrison catcher Wyatt Faith, who had trouble locating the ball, allowing Bowles to score from second base for what would become the winning run.

The Cougars threatened in the bottom of the inning, but Joe Bolin was left stranded at second base as the Wolfpack took home the 7-6 win.

"The thing is, the boys never went to sleep mentally," Gogel said. "They never got down when they were down 4-0. There's a lot of baseball left in that situation and then, defensively, we had to make plays behind our pitchers, as well, to stay in the ballgame."

"Shelton did a real nice job giving us a chance to be there at the end by not letting it get out of control. He strung up several no-run innings after that. He did an outstanding job of holding it there."

"What they do better than us is field the ball," Oppel said. "Jordan Robbeloth had a great shot to the shortstop at the end of the game. Their shortstop came and got it. He sat on it and made a great throw to first. So, that's the ballgame."

Crawford County finished with 14 hits. Jonathon Bowles was 3 for 5, and Aldridge, Harned and Isaac Bowles had two hits each. From the mound, Harned and Shelton combined for 10 strikeouts and four walks. The Wolfpack left 13 runners on base.

North Harrison collected 11 hits, led by Lincoln Jones' 4-for-5 effort, which included three singles and a double. Mitch Bolin and Book each had two hits. A trio of Cougar pitchers tallied 10 strikeouts, including seven from Robbeloth, two walks and two hit batters. North Harrison made three errors and left nine runners on base.

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