Prep Baseball Report

PBR Spotlight Game: Game 1 between No. 34 Pickerington North and Lakota West

By Matt Wallisa

No. 34 ranked Pickerington North headed south for the weekend for a final tuneup against Lakota West before the start of tournament play. 

In the first game of the double header, Pickerington North, considered by many as a top 5 team out of Central Ohio, dominated the Firebirds. 

The pitching matchup featured Pickerington North junior Kyle Montell against Lakota West senior Davis Schaefer (Bellarmine recruit). 

Montell earned the win while allowing one earned run over his 7 innings of work. Montell was efficient on the mound as he created easy ground balls for the Pickerington North defense. His fastball topped out at 82 mph, and he also used a 73 mph change up and a 77 mph curveball.

Schaefer took the loss while giving up 5 earned runs over his 6 innings of work. His fastball topped out at 83 mph while his change up sat at 74 mph and his curveball at 77 mph.  

Pickerington North took advantage of a big fourth inning with five of their six runs crossing the plate. Akron recruit Cale Giddings started the rally with a double off the the wall in right center. Lakota's Schaefer highly ranked junior catcher Matt Poland on four straight pitches. With runners on first and second, Lakota West's third baseman made a fielding error allowing Giddings to score from second.

Talented sophomore infielder Justin Childers followed with a single to load the bases for Pickerington North. An RBI groundout off the bat of Chaz Murray pushed the score to 2-0. 

The big hit of the inning came off the bat of junior Tyler Pagano, who hit a double off the fence to score all three runners and put Pickerington North up 5-0. 

In the 6th inning, Pickerington North hit three consecutive singles with junior Corey Black, sophomore Justin Childers, and senior Chaz Murray all advancing on base. With the bases loaded, junior Tyler Pagano grounded into a run scoring double play to make the score 6-0 in Pickerington North's favor. Lakota West's Schaefer retired the next batter to close the book on his day of work.

Up 6-0, Pickerington North continued to add to their total in the top half of the 7th inning. 

Versatile junior prospect Ryan Miller singled to reach base. He advanced all the way to third base on a wild pitch. With a runner in scoring position, unsigned senior Nick Glanzman produced a sac fly to add another insurance run. Juniors Corey Black and Matt Poland followed with walks. After another Lakota West error, Pickerington North plated their second run of the inning to solidify an 8-1 victory.