Tyler Watson pitched a two-hitter, blasted a two-run home run and his North Putnam teammates supported him with outstanding defense and clutch hitting in a 6-1 victory over Monrovia in a West Central Conference baseball game Monday on the Cougars' field.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior mixed in his fastball, curve and knuckleball to strike out eight. He walked five. Monrovia's first-inning run was unearned.
"Tyler did a great job," North Putnam coach Norm Fish said. "He used several pitches. He threw a lot of fastballs. He got ahead and stayed ahead of the hitters and had good command of his other pitches."
Watson, who will play football and baseball at Franklin College next season, gave up a looping single in the first to Brady Zier and an infield single in the sixth to Grant Benefiel.
"I was throwing well, hitting spots," Watson said. "I did well, the team did better. We played as one."
The Cougars (9-9, 6-3 WCC) had a combined two home runs, five hits and six RBIs from No. 3 hitter Kyler Badten, No. 4 Watson and No. 5 Kaleb Belcher.
"Those guys have to produce for us to be successful," Fish said. "We had a great job from our leaders."
Belcher, a freshman, hit a line-drive home run to center field to put the Cougars ahead, 2-1, in the second.
Watson's towering shot, his sixth of the season, over the left field fence with Coy Flynn on base boosted North Putnam's lead to 4-1 in the third.
Badten drove in Blake Knowling and Coy Flynn with a double to center in the fourth.
North Putnam catcher Austin Day threw out Zier attempting to steal in the second and shortstop Badten ranged far to his left, going behind the bag at second, to take away a hit from Robby Marley in the third. The hard-hit ball was tipped by Watson.
"I nipped it," Watson said, "and Badten saved me."
Added Fish: "Defensively, that's the best game we've played all year."
On Tuesday, North Putnam defeated the Bulldogs 9-6.
At North Putnam
Monrovia 100 000 0-- 1 2 2
North Putnam 112 200 x -- 6 6 1
Zier, Benefiel (1) and Noel, Zier (1); Watson and Day.
WP -- Watson. LP: Benefiel.
HR: NP -- Watson, one on in third; Belcher, none on in second. 2B: NP--Badten. 1B: M--Zier, Benefiel; NP--Badten, Herrmann, Belcher.
RBI -- M--Gray; NP--Badten 3, Watson 2, Belcher.