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Watchful eye, break lift NH late

Watchful eye, break lift NH late
Watchful eye, break lift NH late
North Harrison's Craig Waynescott crosses home plate for the game-winning run Monday against visiting Plainfield. The first to greet Waynescott was teammate Paul Moberly to begin the celebration. Photo by Brian Smith

North Harrison brought nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, looking to erase a four-run deficit in the season opener Monday.
Visiting Plainfield couldn’t wiggle its way out trouble in Ramsey.
A patient approach at the plate by the Cougars (three walks) and untimely miscues by Plainfield (three errors) filled the final inning. North Harrison collected only one hit in the inning, a slow roller by Brad Nowak, who easily beat out the throw to first base.
With the bases loaded and the Plainfield’s lead cut to one, 5-4, Alex Flock stepped into the batter’s box with two outs. He fell behind in the count but fought off the game’s final pitch, sending a sky-high, big-league pop-up on the infield.
Plainfield’s third baseman saw the ball fall off the side of his glove allowing North Harrison’s Craig Waynescott to race in to score behind teammate Paul Moberly for the game-winner.
‘There was a lot of good and a lot of bad,’ North Harrison coach Jamie Polk said. ‘Alex is down two strikes and flicks at an outside pitch and pops it straight up … I’m happy we fought. It wasn’t pretty, but how many first games are?’
In a tight game, Plainfield led 2-1 going into the final frame. An error by the Cougars and a walk set the table for the Quakers to score additional runs. Peyton Jones had a run-scoring single up the middle go off Flock’s glove in a diving attempt. Dylan Nanny brought home a run with a sac fly, then Antonio Lucciola plated Jones with a single, giving Plainfield a 5-1 edge.
For North Harrison, Gage Arnold began the comeback by reaching on a two-base error, a fly ball misplayed in left.
Konner Voyles and Micah Napper worked the count against Evan Yoho to draw walks. Coming in relief, Nick Cottongim wasn’t able to come up with the save.
After striking out pinch hitter Alex Eveslage, Moberly allowed Arnold to trot home by drawing a free pass.
A hard-hit grounder by Waynescott allowed two to score after Plainfield wasn’t able to handle the sharply hit ball.
Two batters later, Nowak started the two-out rally by reaching on an infield single.
‘Give our kids credit, we didn’t strike out much,’ Polk said. ‘Brad hits a tough curve ball, puts it in play and beats it out. It’s a lot of guts by our guys.’
With the bags loaded, Flock’s ball in play provided the game-winning moment. Plenty of jumping around and hollering filled the North Harrison side of the diamond.
‘It was a first win, and the guys feel good,’ Polk said. ‘It’s great energy after the game.’
Pitching in relief, Voyles earned the win, tossing three innings. He gave up two earned runs, striking out one.
‘Konner came in and got us out of an inning without being loose,’ Polk said. ‘He battled. That was probably the first time he’s been in a tough spot like that. He pitched last year, but this was his first experience in a spot. He fought.’
North Harrison got on the board first, thanks to a powerful triple to the base of the right center-field wall by Jacob Faith. The next batter, Nowak, brought him home with a grounder to the right side.
From there, the Cougars scuffled on offense. A Voyles double was spoiled by a line-drive double play hit by Napper. In the third, back-to-back doubles by Moberly and Waynescott went for naught when Moberly was thrown out on the bases.
Waynescott, starting the game on the bump, cruised through the first two innings, striking out four of the first six batters he faced.
The third inning brought a tough jam. With two outs, Kalib Clark hammered a two-run homer just to the right side of the left-field foul pole.
Plainfield loaded the bases after the dinger, but Waynescott used a punch-out to end the threat.
A pair of defensive plays ended promising fourth and fifth innings. Nowak threw out a runner trying to steal third in the fourth, while Flock made a highlight-worthy play at shortstop in the fifth. The junior, with the bases full of Quakers, ranged to his left, diving to corral a ball off the bat of Lucciola. Flipping to fellow middle infielder Faith, the duo turned a snazzy double play.
‘We had some self-inflicted jams,’ Polk said. ‘It was the little things we have to clean up, but I’m proud of our resiliency. Konner made a great catch for us in center, and the play Alex made at short was big.’
Polk said he was pleased with Waynescott’s day.
‘He had one inning where he lost it a little, but we’re trying to extend our guys right now,’ Polk said. ‘His pitch count got a little too high. He had great sharpness at times.’
In four innings, Waynescott struck out seven.
Jones and Nowak led their respective teams with two hits each.
Plainfield, located just west of Indianapolis, is making a Southern Indiana baseball tour on its spring break. The Quakers were slated to play Jeffersonville and Charlestown yesterday (Tuesday).
North Harrison (1-0) will return to action Saturday when the Cougars play at Seymour.

Plainfield 002 000 3 ‘ 5 5 3
North Harrison 100 000 5 ‘ 6 6 3
W ‘Voyles, L ‘ Cottongim.
2B ‘ Jones (P), Groninger (P), Waynescott (NH), Voyles (NH), Moberly (NH); 3B ‘ Faith (NH); HR ‘ Clark (P).