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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cougars explode for 11-1 win over Eagles

Friday, April 29, 2011

South Putnam catcher Tanner Thompson meets a streaking Blake Knowling of North Putnam at the plate during Thursday's game. The Eagles fell in six innings, 11-1. [Order this photo]
Thursday's rematch between North Putnam and South Putnam proved to be a far different game than their initial meeting. In their first meeting, the Eagles were able to use their big bats to pester the Cougars before falling by a single run. Game two was a different story.

The Cougars came out firing on all cylinders and posted seven runs in two innings before coming away with an 11-1 win over the Eagles.

Errors are something a team dreads and can be the difference between a win and a loss. South Putnam committed multiple errors in Thursday's contest and they definitely were costly.

North Putnam got things going with a double from Kyler Badten and Austin Day reaching on an error. Kaleb Belcher walked to load the bases with one out. But instead of a big bat bringing home some runs for the Cougars, it turned out to be an error by South Putnam.

The Eagles committed its third error of the opening inning when Jake Haste smacked a shot to the right side of the infield. As South Putnam struggled to catch the ball, two runs crossed the plate putting the Cougars up 3-0 after one inning.

They continued to pour it on in the second inning as they scored four more runs with strong hits and South Putnam miscues.

However, South Putnam was able to come out strong in the top of the third inning and forced the Cougars into a three up, three down at bat, but the Eagles couldn't fare much better. In its first three innings, South Putnam sent nine batters to the plate, with each being sent back to the bench without a hit.

Things began to change for South Putnam in the fourth inning.

After North Putnam extended its lead to 9-0 thanks to Badten and Day scoring in the top of fourth, South Putnam got its bats going. Rob Gibson got things going with a drive to centerfield. Seth Hammond followed him with a single to left field.

Grant Zimmerman drove in Gibson on a long double to centerfield to make the score 9-1 and had South Putnam headed in the right direction. After Aaron Parker drew a walk, South Putnam had the bases loaded with no outs and looked to be ready to start a rally to challenge the Cougars.

Badten had other ideas.

Cody Heller smashed a hard shot that Badten snagged on its way to the outfield and then threw to second to double up Zimmerman on second base. The next batter, Logan White, hit a shot to the pitcher to record the final out of the inning. It would be the last time the Eagles posed a threat to the Cougars in the contest.

After a scoreless fifth inning, North Putnam took an 11-1 advantage when Tyler Watson drove in Badten with a long single to the fence and scored later in the inning on a single to centerfield by Blake Knowling to give the Cougars a 10-point advantage.

The Eagles refused to give in and that was apparent on the first at-bat in the bottom of the sixth. Zimmerman hit a shot to second base and streaked up the first baseline and dove into first base to beat the throw. Parker then drew his second walk of the night, but North Putnam pitcher Haste buckled down and struck out the next three batters to close the game.

At South Putnam

North Putnam 340 202 -- 11 10 1

South Putnam 000 100 0 -- 1 5 5

WP -- Haste

LP -- Parker

2B -- Badten (NP), Zimmerman (SP)