CLAYTON — On the first truly warm spring day of the season the Northmont varsity baseball team dealt Waynesville its first loss of the season to the tune of 6-1.
The Spartans, now 6-1 overall, came out swinging their bats to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. Cam Anderson got the Spartans going by belting a one out double to deep center. Drake Stiles reached first on an error and Landon Beachler drew a walk to load the bases. Lane Johnson hit into a 6-4 ground out to score Anderson to give Waynesville an early one run lead.
That lead would not hold up. In the home half of the 1st Garrett McGough stroked a leadoff single to left, stole second but got thrown out on an attempted steal of third base. Caden Cronebach drew a walk and proceeded to steal second and third. Cole Stephens also drew a walk and stole second. Justin Combs grounded out to short to score Cronebach to tie the game 1-1.
Northmont starting pitcher Nick Moomey sent Waynesville down in order in the top of the 2nd inning. In the bottom of the inning Ryan Pullins got hit by a pitch by Waynesville freshman pitcher Isaiah Blythe. Adam Bendinelli belted a double to score Pullins but got thrown out by rounding second too far on the throw to plate. Ryan Tanto singled on a slap hit to right but was left stranded on a strikeout that ended the inning with Northmont up 2-1.
The Thunderbolts took control of the game in the third inning. Cole Stephens hit a one out double to left centerfield and scored from second on a wild pitch. Combs drew a walk and scored on a double to deep left field by Joey Pryor. Ryan Pullins laid down a sacrifice bunt enabling Pryor to score all the way from second to boost Northmont’s lead to 5-1.
In the top of the fourth Waynesville loaded the bases. Johnson drew a lead-off walk, Jonas Boggs singled and Bryce Stone stroked a one-out single to right to put three runners on base. Northmont ended the threat with a double play. Ryan Papanek hit a short chopper toward third with Moomey coming off the mound to field. He threw the ball to the plate for the force out and Combs fired to first to complete the double play.
Northmont added a run in the bottom of the 4th inning. Weaver drew a leadoff walk and reached second on a single by Tanto and scored on a single to right center by McGough. With the victory the Thunderbolts improved to 7-4 overall.
“I’ve only have one senior on the roster so we have a lot of young guys trying to figure out what their approach is going to be,” said Waynesville Coach Ryan Hill. “Playing schools like Northmont, Lebanon and other tough schools on our schedule is going to help solidify things for us early. Northmont has a strong team and we knew that coming in. We threw a freshman on the mound, which was his first start for us. With everybody lumping games together with all the rain we’ve had everybody is kind of short on pitching and we are no different. Isaiah Blythe did well on the mound for his first time out and he will get stronger from there.”
Blythe pitched 3 and 1/3 innings, gave up eight hits, walked three, hit one batter, and struck out two.
Northmont starting pitcher Nick Moomey worked 4 and 2/3 innings, scattered four hits, walked three, and struck out one with one earned run.
“Waynesville is a good ball club and came into this game 6-0,” said Northmont Coach Chuck Harlow. “We are a pretty experienced team and I think that was the big difference tonight. We didn’t let that one run get ahead of us. We let that run score by having an error, but we bounced back. We’ve been there before. It was a good ballgame. Our kids played hard and the weather finally broke so it was a great night to be at The Yard.”
WAY 100 000 0 – 1 5 0
NMT 113 100 x – 6 7 1
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind