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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tiger Cubs rally for walkoff win over Cougars

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A night after being embarrassed at North Putnam High School, the Tiger Cubs rallied for a 5-4 victory against the same rival team.

Behind clutch pitching and hitting by senior Ryan Battin, Greencastle erased 2-0 and 4-2 deficits to earn the win.

Battin struck out nine Cougars and had a key one-out single in bottom of the seventh. He then scored the game-winning run on a walk-off base hit to deep left field by his battery mate, senior Andy Bell.

"(Battin) had a fire in his eyes that I haven't seen in a while," said Greencastle head coach Troy Remsburg. "He wanted this one bad."

Battin earned the victory after pitching a complete game, surrendering only three hits and walking five.

North Putnam opened the scoring in the second inning, scoring two runs but stranding a runner on first.

Junior Jake Haste threw an eight-pitch first inning, but struggled in the second and allowed Greencastle to tie the game.

The Cougars regained the lead in the fourth. After two errors and a single loaded the bases, North Putnam coach Norm Fish called for a surprise bunt.

Sophomore designated hitter Bennett Hazelgrove placed a perfect bunt that stopped in front of home plate, tied up the defense and allowed a run to score while he ran safely to first base.

A sacrifice fly by sophomore Coy Flynn gave the Cougars a 4-2 lead with one out and the bases loaded, but Battin refused to be beaten.

Battin induced a groundball to second, his defense turned the double play, and Greencastle escaped further damage.

"I felt pretty good until that double play," Fish said. "Then they got a little momentum and our bats fell off."

Greencastle rallied back an inning later. Battin hit an RBI triple, then scored the tying run.

The Tiger Cubs lefty starter baffled hitters all day, but appeared ratchet up his effort when facing Haste. He struck out the rival pitcher all four times he faced him, cresting with a fastball that ended the top half of the seventh.

The home crowd helped to push Greencastle throughout the contest, giving the previously winless team a burst of momentum and assisting to give Battin enough energy to finish the game after throwing more than 100 pitches.

Remsburg said he was not worried about the workload of his starting pitcher, even if it is early in the year. Battin's durability is unique on the team.

"He couldn't do this last year," Remsburg said, "But he's a tough kid. He works hard."

Remsburg added that because he's worked with the pitcher since little league, he is able to tell when Battin begins to feel fatigued. He also said he probably will not use Battin again until conference games resume in two weeks.

Haste picked up the loss after throwing a complete game. He had seven strikeouts and gave up five earned runs on seven hits, walking two.

At Greencastle

North Putnam 020 200 0 -- 4 3 0

Greencastle 020 020 1 -- 5 9 3