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Bulldogs score early, down Cougars

Bulldogs score early, down Cougars
Bulldogs score early, down Cougars
North HarrisonÂ’s Jacob Faith comes up a few inches short of robbing a New Albany hit in the BulldogsÂ’ 11-0 win. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The North Harrison Cougars suffered a meltdown last Tuesday afternoon as visiting New Albany sent out a shockwave for an 11-0 win. North Harrison’s problems started early, and the Bulldogs took advantage in a big way.
‘We didn’t play our best game,’ North Harrison coach Jamie Polk said. ‘We were flat. We just didn’t play very well.’
The Bulldogs attacked early as Tucker Marcum walked and Jarins McCure was hit by a pitch. Logan Striegel then ripped a triple to score both runners. Garrett Sherrell followed with a sacrifice fly to score Striegel, and New Albany had a 3-0 lead after a half inning.
North Harrison couldn’t get anything going in its first at-bat, but New Albany scored two more in the second. After the Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out, Sherrell smacked a single to score two for a 5-0 lead.
The next inning and a half went scoreless, but the Bulldogs then pounded in three more runs for an 8-0 lead. North Harrison’s biggest problem came on the mound, as the Cougars pitchers walked five and hit three New Albany batters through the first four innings.
‘I think what happened was, when Micah (Napper) came out and had a little problem with his control a little bit, we didn’t react positively to it,’ Polk said. ‘We really didn’t react in a good way to it. We knew adversity would come, and, when it happened so quick to us, we didn’t handle it well. That’s part of learning and part of it.’
North Harrison’s problems snowballed into the fifth inning as the Cougars had two errors that accounted for two of New Albany’s three runs in the inning.
The Cougars managed just a single base runner in the bottom of the fifth.
‘It’s not what we wanted,’ Polk said. ‘We hit the ball OK. We made a few base-running mistakes, but that happens sometimes.’
North Harrison managed just five base runners on four hits. The Cougars had two errors and left three runners on base. Pitchers Micah Napper and Gaige Arnold combined for just one strikeout but five walks and four hit batters.
‘Defensively, I don’t think we had any errors ’til that last inning,’ Polk said. ‘We didn’t play poorly defensively early, but Micah just struggled with his control. That happens sometimes when you get on the mound. That’s one of those things where the more you pitch, the better you become. He’s going to keep going out. He’ll go out on his next turn and get better.’
New Albany finished with 11 hits, with Striegel and Sherrell getting two each. The Bulldogs had no errors and left 10 runners on base. Pitchers Tanner Waller and Zach Worrall combined for three strikeouts and one walk.
‘New Albany is a good ball team,’ Polk said. ‘We play New Albany and Jeff, and, when you make a mistake with these two teams, when you walk a guy or hit a guy, boom, you pay for it. But that’s why we play those guys. That’s why we’re playing those teams, to make us better for conference and make us better for sectional. We’ve got to get better at this point, and we’ve got to get better at this. That’s what we’ve told the guys. You’ve got to get better tomorrow.’