Brownstown Central spotted North Harrison three unearned runs in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game, then rallied to pull out a 5-4 win in the Mid-Southern Conference opener for both teams.
Braves coach Brandon Tormoehlen said it was a good way to open the MSC schedule.
“North Harrison is always a good, tough opponent, and they’ve got a nice, solid squad this year, as well, so it’s nice to get off on the right foot in the conference, and I hope we can keep this momentum going (today at home at 6 p.m. against Seymour),” he said.
Braves pitcher Ethan Davis got off to a rough start in the top of the first by walking the first two batters he faced, and the Cougars took advantage of two BC errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball to lead 3-0.
By the end of the third inning, the Braves had things all tied up.
In the bottom of the second, Kiernan Tiemeyer walked and later scored on a single by Ethan Fultz to make it 3-1.
With one out in the third, Jake Pauley, Cole Darlage and Cristos McCormick hit back-to-back-to-back singles to produce one run. When McCormick’s hit got past the right fielder, Darlage scored to tie the game.
The Braves played small ball in the sixth to produce the winning rally.
Fultz, Cayleb Covert and Nathan Koch laid down consecutive bunts. The Cougars made errors on two of those bunts when Fultz scored that put the Braves on top 4-3, and Cole Darlage singled to drive in Covert with the fifth run.
Tormoehlen said he was happy to see the Braves lay down some productive bunts.
“That’s one thing we work on is the bunt game a little bit,” he said. “I always tell our guys that we need to win ballgames offensively in multiple ways, and the bunt game is one of them, whether it’s the bunt game, the steal game or just stepping up there and playing station to station and getting some hits.
“Today was one of those situations where it just so happened we were able to get a few bunts down and we were able to put some pressure on them and they threw it around a little bit to help us out.”
Six different Braves combined for eight hits with Cole Darlage and McCormick each getting two hits, and Wyatt Steward, Tiemeyer and Fultz all got on base twice each.
“We’ve still got to do a better job of executing in certain situations, but for the most part, our guys battled, they got on and guys stepped up when they needed to and we scored one more than they did,” Tormoehlen said.
The Cougars used two singles and an error in the top of the seventh to close the scoring.
“Our guys showed some fight, which is nice to see, especially out of an inexperienced team,” Tormoehlen said.
“I thought Davis did a really good job on the mound after the first inning, kind of settling in and keeping us in the game. He struggled out of the gate a little bit throwing strikes. It was a situation there where we needed him to go, and he responded and gave us a chance.”
McCormick pitched the last two innings, and he and Davis combined to strike out 10, walk four and allow three hits.