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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

North Putnam defeats Covington for second win on the diamond

Monday, April 9, 2012

North Putnam's Kaleb Belcher rounds third after hitting a fifth-inning home run Saturday.
ROACHDALE -- North Putnam's baseball team moved back to .500 Saturday afternoon after defeating Covington 5-2.

After losing to Turkey Run the previous evening, along with senior Blake Knowling with a leg injury, the Cougars put Coy Flynn on the mound to face the Trojans.

The sophomore responded with five shutout innings, giving up a solitary hit to start off the fifth inning while striking out two and walking none.

North Putnam had a chance to go ahead early to support Flynn but, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first and with one out, the Cougars failed to plate a run after back-to-back strikeouts.

The hosts did get two runs in the second. Covington pitcher Bryce Bowling recorded the first two outs of the inning but allowed three hits to the next four hitters, including RBI singles to Flynn and Kyler Badten.

The scores remained the same until the fifth inning. Kaleb Belcher hit a solo home run to left center field to extend the lead to 3-0 before Jake Haste nailed a two run shot three batters later for a 5-0 lead.

Badten replaced Flynn on the mound to start the sixth and immediately got into trouble. After walking the leadoff batter, Badten gave up a double before Trojan catcher Luke Brazas singled in a pair to cut the lead to 5-2.

Badten got out of the inning without any further damage. The Cougars received three walks in the bottom half of the sixth but failed to add any runs in the inning.

It would matter little as Badten fanned all three batters he faced in the top of the seventh to secure the win for the hosts, evening their record at 2-2.

North Putnam head coach Norm Fish said that starting pitcher Flynn did exactly what was needed.

"I thought he had a great game. He did exactly what we wanted him to do. He got around to the top of the order for the third time and I thought it was a good time to get Kyler in there and get him some work," Fish said.

"Coy did great. He kept us right where we need to be so Kyler could come in and finish it up."

Fish said that getting runs in the second was a major mental boost to the squad.

"It was huge. In the last game against Turkey Run, we did absolutely nothing and I didn't want to see that carry over inning after inning," Fish said.

"I thought we needed to do something in the second and the kids felt that sense of urgency. It definitely helped their confidence to come back in the second and get some runs. We needed it."

Fish also said that playing a close game would be beneficial later.

"Nothing comes easy. Sure, when you out Kyler out there, you figure it would end up 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 but then they came out and hit the ball and got two runs," Fish said.

"It forced us to deal with a little adversity instead of sail through those last two innings. We had to play through the end, which is good for us."

North Putnam returns to actions Thursday against Rockville, with a hole in the schedule that Fish said is a bit of a disappointment.

"It's bad timing. We go out and win a close ballgame against a pretty good team, so we're fired up and ready to play. It just so happens we don't have any games on the schedule," Fish said.

"We're refocusing our practices. We're going after it in a different way, focus and mentality. We're trying to get ready with a lot of hard work and be mentally ready to play, because we weren't mentally ready to play against Turkey Run."

"The worst thing to happen to us was to beat Greencastle 11-0 early and the best thing to happen to us was losing to Turkey Run 4-3," Fish added.

"This gives us three days to refocus. We'll practice how we're going to practice from now on and it'll give us three days to get that going."

At North Putnam

Covington 000 002 0 -- 2 4 1

North Putnam 020 030 X -- 5 6 2

WP -- Flynn (1-0)

LP -- Bowling

S -- Badten (1)

HR -- Belcher, Haste

2B -- Bowling (C), Perrine, Nauert (NP)

Next game -- North Putnam travels to Rockville Thursday.