Mon April 16, 2012
By Dylan Hefflinger
PIONEER- On an extremely windy day the stage was set for a pitcher's duel, as No. 9 North Central's Ryan Masters faced off against No. 20 Edon's Keegan Long.
Masters, a Taylor University commit, began the game on a roll striking out six batters through four innings. However, things began to unravel in the top of the 5th inning with North Central on top 2-0. After walking the first 2 batters, a sacrifice bunt and a fly out to the pitcher was just the start to the inning. A passed ball scored the 1st run, then walks to the next three batters plated the 2nd run for Edon. A hit by pitch scored a 3rd.
Sophomore Jacob Brown walked to the plate with the bases loaded and the Blue Bombers up 3-2. A hard-hit double plated two, which brought an end to Masters outing.
Masters was consistently at 82-83 mph, but the velocity slipped in the 5th down to 79 mph. The NC senior right-hander, who came in with a 1.91 ERA in 22 innings of work with 48 Ks, finished allowing 4 hits and 6 walks while striking out 6 in his stint on the mound.
Kole Peterson came into the game and sophomore Trevor Green greeted him with a sharply hit single up the middle plating two more to give Edon a 6-2 lead. The Blue Bombers then added single tallies in the 6th and 7th to take an 8-2 victory.
Long, a St. Joseph, Indiana commit, was the winning pitcher to move to 4-0 on the season. The 6-1, 170-pound senior right-hander, who was consistently around 84-85 mph and topped out at 87, got off to a rough start as he gave up a leadoff double to junior Jalen Dancer, followed by a run-scoring single by senior Bryce Ely.
Long, who had not permitted an earned run in 23 innings coming in with 49 strikeouts, settled down to allow only 2 more hits the rest of the way, striking out 5 for the game while walking 0.
Edon (8-5), which moved into a tie with North Central for first place in the Buckeye Border Conference at 4-1, will look to atone for its lone BBC loss against Pettisville in their next contest on Thursday .
North Central (10-2) will be on the road to take on Hilltop on Thursday.