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NH mauls Perry Central in five

NH mauls Perry Central in five
NH mauls Perry Central in five
North HarrisonÂ’s Tyler Cockerham keeps the Perry Central Commodores off balance for four innings in the CougarsÂ’ 15-0 win. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

It took the North Harrison Cougars baseball team just 67 minutes to dispose of visiting Perry Central on a cold, breezy afternoon last Wednesday. The Commodores had come off a big win over Corydon Central and hoped for the momentum to carry over into the next game, but the Cougars bats took over early and often in their 15-0 mauling of Perry Central.
‘Our kids, we just challenged them to get better every day, and they did,’ North Harrison coach Jamie Polk said. ‘They got better today. We did a lot of good things. We didn’t do too much at the plate. Last night (against Yale, Mich.), we tried to do too much. We tried to hit the five-run homer. Tonight, we stayed within ourselves. Our hands were good. We hit the ball pretty well.’
Perry Central coach Phil Zellers said his team gained more confidence following the Commodores’ game against the Panthers, but it didn’t show against the Cougars.
‘I just think for some reason we came out flat and weren’t ready, weren’t ready for what we had tonight,’ Zellers said.
After Perry Central went three up and out in the first inning, the Cougars loaded the bases with no outs in their first at-bat. Tyler Cockerham reached safely on a Perry Central error to score Derrick Harter. Wyatt Faith then rapped a single to score two more runs, and the Cougars had a 3-0 lead.
North Harrison scored twice in the second inning and put four more on the board in the bottom of the third.
Perry Central put runners in scoring position in the top of the fourth inning but failed to convert.
The Cougars had their biggest inning in the bottom of the fourth, putting down seven hits, good enough for six runs.
The Commodores went three up and out in the top of the fifth, and the Cougars had the 15-0 win.
‘They’re a young club,’ Polk said of the Commodores. ‘They do a lot of stuff right. ‘ It’s just we were on a roll hitting the ball. Tyler (Cockerham) was pretty strong pitching. They had a couple of nice hits, but, to Tyler’s credit, he just settled down and battled through it.’
‘We’re struggling at times,’ Zellers said. ‘We came out flat with our bats. In the field, we didn’t make the plays we needed to behind our pitcher. You’re not going to win games like that against teams like this.’
North Harrison finished the day with 15 hits. Harter and Wyatt Faith had three each, while Cockerham and Jacob Faith slapped two apiece. Hurlers Cockerham and Cameron Smith totaled five strikeouts with no walks. The Cougars had no errors and left four runners on base.
‘That was Tyler’s first start,’ Polk said. ‘He hadn’t pitched before. He had pitched like three innings in his career, and this was a great start. He’s been working really hard in the bullpen and in practice. He gave us all he’s got. His curve ball is getting pretty good. He’s got pop in his arm. We’re proud of him. He did a great job.’
Perry Central had just three hits while committing five errors. Allan Cummings struck out one, walked one and hit one Cougars batter. The Commodores left three runners on base.
‘We’ve got to get better fundamentally,’ Zellers said. ‘We have to make the routine plays. We don’t have to make spectacular, diving catches. We just have to make the routine plays and play behind our pitcher. We’ve got to get better at that.’
While this game went nearly perfect for the Cougars, Polk said his team still needs to work on base running and batting.
‘Our approach on the bases has to be a little more consistent,’ the Cougars coach said. ‘Last night, our base running was pretty good. Tonight, our base running wasn’t real good. We are going to run. We love to run the bases well, so we’re going to hit it hard on the bases. They’re going to have some tired legs, but we’ve got to get better at base running.
‘A couple of at-bats there with guys on base, our younger kids, I don’t know if they had the right approach when it counts,’ he said. ‘It’s a little baseball stuff that we need to work on.’

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