Conner West, Trey Ball Both Strikeout 13


By Ben Grossberg 

Huntington – Game one featured a matchup of two junior pitchers. Michael Bear took the mound for New Castle and Connor West for Huntington North. Defensive miscues cost both teams runs in a tight one run game that Huntington North won 3-2

New Castle got on the board first when leadoff hitter Junior Zak Kellogg reached on an error. After moving to third with two outs a passed ball brought him in giving New Castle a 1-0 lead.

Huntington North scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the second innings. Senior Braydin Stell doubled to lead off the inning and West followed that with a single to put runners on first and third. Huntington ran a double steal with both runners advancing safely to tie the game at one. After the next two batters got out Senior Caleb Richison singled setting up first and third and again Huntington ran a successful double steal making the scoring 2-1. Next up Junior Mitch Hughes grounded the ball back to Bear, but his throw to first was wild allowing Richison to score from second.

West was dominant on the mound, at one point setting down 10 straight batters. He cruised through the first five innings allowing just two hits and no walks.

In the sixth New Castle got another run back. Kellogg got the offense going again with a single to start the inning. West would get the next two batters out, but allowed a walk putting runners on first and second with one out. Bear came through with a RBI single to left cutting the deficit to 3-2. West allowed another single, but got a strikeout to end the threat.

In the seventh West set down New Castle in order, striking out the first two batters and getting a groundout to end the game giving Huntington North the 3-2 win. West finished the day with seven inning pitched, one earned run, four hits, and 13 strikeouts.

Bear threw six innings allowing eight hits, one earned run, and striking out five.

Game 2 

Huntington – Game two saw two seniors face off on the mound. New Castle sent out Trey Ball and Huntington North put Evan Brown on the mound. With 15 or more pro scouts in attendance Ball sat 91-94 with his fastball and matched West’s strikeout performance in game one with 13. Ball cruised through the first five innings allowing just two hits and one walk. At one point he struck out six of seven batters including four in a row.

New Castle again got on the board in the first. Zak Kellogg doubled to start the bottom of the first and moved to third on a Grant Malott single. Ball grounded into a double play allowing Kellogg to score.

New Castle added two runs in the third and the fourth innings. Malott singled with one out in the third and stole second. Ball singled bringing around Malott and advancing to second when the ball got by the right fielder. Tyler Smith singled in Ball giving New Castle a 3-0 lead. In the fourth Cory Isenbarger doubled to start the inning and Doug Bell singled after that. Isenbarger scored on an error that advanced Bell to third. Bell scored on a fielder’s choice from Kellogg giving New Castle a 5-0 lead.

In the top of the sixth Huntington finally got to Ball. Senior Devon Goelz led off the inning with a single and scored on a RBI double from Evan Brown. After two strikeouts and a walk Trey Bowling laid down a perfect bunt scoring Brown.

Malott added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a RBI single, his third hit of the day. In the top of the seventh Ball gave up a leadoff single, but struck out the next two batters and got a groundout to end the game. Ball finished the day giving up two earned run, six hits, two walk, and striking out 13.