Apr. 10—Taylor edged Northwestern 8-7 in the opening semifinal of the Howard County Baseball Tournament Friday night at Northwestern. The game featured four lead changes. A pair of big innings decided the game in Taylor’s favor.
Northwestern struck first with a run in the bottom of the second inning but Taylor scored five in the top of the third, powered by a two-run triple from Nathan Keene and a two-run double by Owen Shimer. Northwestern scored three in the bottom of the third and took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 6-5 advantage.
Taylor then scored three runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good. Jaylen Harris went 2 for 3 for the Titans including a two-run single in the sixth.
“It was a gutty performance, playing all seven innings,” Taylor coach Kris Dill said. “What we preach is we play all seven, up, down, big lead, down big, up big, that’s just the way we have to be. We have to fight and scratch and claw, that stood out the most. We had timely hitting as well and that was big for us. We got down 1-0 in the second and then we struck back with five the next inning.
“I liked our kids’ fight. Our pitchers pitched well. Our team as a whole it was a gritty performance. You don’t know how your kids are going to react when it’s tight. We gave ourselves a chance at the end and we pulled it out.”
Michael Pemberton threw the last four innings for the win. He gave up one hit, two runs and had no walks with six strikeouts.
For Northwestern, Austin Robinson was 3 for 4 with a double, a triple and two RBIs. A.J. Burkhalter and Lincoln Cardwell each doubled. Cole Cardwell took the loss.
“Honestly, our offensive production’s been really good. We scored 11 runs, 10 runs, seven runs,” NW coach Ryan Ward said of his team’s offense the first few games. “We were down 5-1 and came back and took the lead. We were down 8-6 going into the bottom of the seventh and we scored that run and had the tying run at third and the winning run at second and couldn’t get those across. It was a good learning experience for our kids early in the season.”
The second semifinal pits Eastern vs. Park Tudor today at 11 a.m. The consolation game follows at 1 p.m. or later, and the championship is scheduled for roughly 4 p.m. at Northwestern.
WESTERN 10, TAYLOR 5
The Panthers doubled up the Titans. Madden Wells led the Western offense with a single, double and triple while Sadie Harding and Micky Irwin each had two doubles.
Western pitcher Chloe Linn earned the win in relief. She threw the last five innings and struck out nine.
CASS 11, CARROLL 1, 5 INNINGS
The Lewis Cass softball team picked up its first win of the season with an 11-1 win in five innings over Carroll.
Paxtyn Hicks recorded the win in the circle and helped herself by going 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for the Lady Kings (1-2). Madi Dormer went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and three runs scored. Kyndal Silcox went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Elly Logan and Cana Jones each went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.
KOKOMO 12, PERU 0, 5 INN.
The Kats scored 11 runs in the third inning to break it open.
Karley Trine and Jordan Thatcher had a double and single apiece to lead Kokomo. Taylor Reed, Gwen Hand and Dani Tate had their first varsity hits.
Winning pitcher Bayli Reed and reliever Carly Patterson combined for 10 strikeouts.