The no-hit pitching of Greencastle's Hunter Mitchell had the Tiger Cubs in place to win the West Central Conference baseball game with South Putnam on Tuesday night. But the Tiger Cubs took no chances.
Like a pop-up shower during the spring, Greencastle dropped eight runs on the South Putnam Eagles in the fifth inning, turning a tight, competitive game into an 11-1 victory.
The five-inning, 10-run-rule victory gave Greencastle a sweep of its county and conference rival. Greencastle improved to 9-7 overall and 6-2 in the WCC, while the Eagles dropped to 4-12 and 0-10 in conference play.
"We started hitting the ball, finally. We've been a little dead the last couple of games," Greencastle coach Troy Remsburg said.
Greencastle pounded out nine hits, led by Ryan Battin with a triple and single and two runs scored. Dylan Harbaugh was 2-3 at the plate with one RBI, while Alec Pettit had a triple and scored two runs. Landon Miller was 1-3 with a two RRI. Dylan Linton, Andy Bell and Nick Hutcheson each had one hit.
And the Tiger Cubs really didn't need the hits the way Mitchell was pitching. Then senior right hander took a no-hitter into the fifth inning when South's Rob Gibson beat out a bunt.
Mitchell struck out 11 and walked two South Putnam batters. After South Putnam scored its only run of the game in the first, Mitchell retired the next 10 batters in order.
"Their pitcher kept us off balance pretty well. He had a lot of movement on his ball and also located the ball on the outside corner very well," Eagles coach Ryan Gilman said.
Greencastle won the Monday night game and was caught off guard by South's aggressiveness in the first inning.
South Putnam's Gibson reached base on an error, stole second, stole third and stole home.
"When Rob is on base you got to pay attention to him. He's a good base runner, smart and very fast," Remsburg said.
Greencastle tied the score when Battin legged out a triple and scored on a ground out by Linton.
The Tiger Cubs took the lead for good in the third when Linton singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Bell.
Greencastle made it 3-1 in the fourth when Pettit led off with a triple into right-center field and scored on a ground out.
Greencastle's breakout inning started with the No. 9 hitter, Harbaugh, who singled, followed by a Battin single. Both moved into scoring position on a ground out, then South intentionally walked Bell, bringing Miller to the plate with bases loaded and one out.
Miller drove a line drive into right field to score Harbaugh and Battin, giving Greencastle a 5-1 lead.
Pettit received a base on balls to load the bags for Hutchson, who legged out a slow infield hopper that allowed Bell to score. With bases still loaded, Gilliam received a walk that gave Greencastle a 7-1 lead with one out. South never got the second out.
Greencastle's next three runs scored on a passed ball and throwing error.
Harbaugh, the guy who started the eight-run inning, ended the game with a base hit that scored Cole Pohlar with the game-ending run.
"(The Tiger Cubs) put bats on the ball and always seemed to hit it where we weren't (playing). That sometimes is how you get a big inning. We had a couple of plays I thought we should have made, but they were hustling infield hits out and did a good job of that," Gilman said.
Greencastle and South have different routes in the Putnam County Tourney on Saturday. Greencastle plays Cloverdale, while South faces North Putnam in the opening round.
South Putnam 100 00 -- 1 1 3
Greencastle 101 18 -- 11 9 2
Nees, Hammond (4), Heller (5) and Gibson; Mitchell and Bell. WP -- Mitchell (3-1). LP -- Nees. LOB -- SP 4, GHS 3. 3B -- Battin, Pettit. RBI -- Miller 2, Linton, Bell, Hutcheson, Gilliam Harbaugh. E -- Gibson, Scott, Nees, Gilliam, Harbaugh. . DP - None. SAC -- None, SB -- Gibson 3, Sawyer. CS -- .None.