"I've stressed all year about getting a good start and jumping on teams and we did," North Putnam coach Norm Fish said.
Jake Mullis struck out three of the first four batters and set the tone for the Cougars on Monday.
In the bottom of the first, the Cougars sent 12 batters to the plate and collected eight runs on eight hits. Constant hitting was key for North as it recorded six singles, a double and a triple in the inning. J.T. Francies connected on the double on his second trip to the plate and Mullis his a rocket shot off of the fence in straight away center field.
In the second inning, Griffen Dahlstrom reached on a walk and was brought home by big brother Brayden Dahlstrom with a monster shot over the left field fence.
"Here lately he's been hitting the ball well," Fish said. "He's hit a few bombs for us the last few games."
"Just working everyday in practice and seeing the ball better probably," Dahlstrom said. "I'm also hitting down the lineup so I'm seeing more fastballs."
After a scoreless third, North added three runs in the fourth with Jordan Berry, Griffen Dahlstrom, Kyle Alcorn and Jerrett Ban all collecting hits. Kyle Rooker and Dahlstrom scored on a wild pitch.
Mullis shut down Cascade in the top of the fifth and sealed the victory for the Cougars. Mullis faced only 19 batters, striking out nine while allowing three hits. After taking some time off leading up to sectional play, Mullis was visibly dominating as he had Cadets swinging at phantom curves.
"I took a while off and I felt strong," Mullis said after the game. "My curveball was working pretty good for me, so that helps."
"I'm happy for Jake, he pitched a really good game," Fish said.
Fish talked about his team's ability to provide a one-two punch and be able to take control and sustain. He looks for his team to do the same as it faces South Vermillion on Thursday.
"We just had one of those days where we put the ball in play and things were working out," Fish said. "And when you got Jake Mullis on the mound, that's a good combination. We just got to get two more."
North will face the Wildcats in the second round of the Cascade Sectional Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Cascade 000 00 -- 0 3 2
North Putnam 820 3x -- 13 12 0
Mink/Blinn (4) and Austin (C); Mullis and Berry (NP)
2B -- Mullis
3B -- Berry
HR -- B. Dahlstrom
Next game -- North will face the Wildcats in the second round of the Cascade Sectional Thursday at 7:30 p.m.