Washington explodes in 4th to smoke Northside

Published 11:17 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

Washington and Northside had both been playing strong baseball going into Monday’s Easter tournament championship. Both had won their two games before to punch their respective tickets to the title game.

The Panthers had won six in a row. The Pam Pack, winners of nine straight. Something had to give.

It took three and a half innings, but something did give. Washington batted through the lineup — notching seven hits and jumping on three Northside errors — to score 10 runs. The Pam Pack set down the Panthers in order in the top of the fifth to win the game, 10-0, via the mercy rule.

“I’ve been waiting for it. I knew we were that good and could hit the ball that well,” Pam Pack head coach Kevin Leggett said. Washington had to snatch away last year’s tournament title with a five two-out runs in the seventh. This year’s iteration of the Easter matchup was much more decisive.

“I’ve just been waiting for that game. They finally came through like I knew they would.”

Drew Ferguson and Tyler Harrell jump in each other’s arms after winning their Easter tournament and 10th game in a row.

Northside coach Keith Boyd added, “The error on the bunt got things going for them. That’s something we hadn’t done all year long. On Saturday we went 14 innings with one error. … They get hot, score a couple of runs, and hitting comes easy.”

Frederick Holscher led off with a single that hopped over third baseman Tanner Alligood. He scored from second when Logan Little put down a bunt and an errant throw to first produced an opening.

“Coach Rick (Anderson) has been telling us all year to see some pitches, unless it’s right down the middle. That’s what we did in that last inning,” Holscher said. “I definitely think, throughout this whole tournament, the hitting has been contagious. Hits just came in spurts.”

Logan Little slides into third base to narrowly beat the throw.

The onslaught continued when Cody Godley reached on a bobbled ball in the infield. Drew Ferguson plated Barfield with a single back up the middle. Panther pitcher Zach Griffin loaded the bases when he hit Tyler Harrell with the first pitch of the following at-bat.

Godley scored on a passed ball, then Matt Black cleared Ferguson and Harrell with a double to the fence in left field.

“I think once you get a couple of hits, the pressure is off,” Leggett said. “Especially when you get a couple of runs. You get the lead, so they can relax and swing like they know they can.”

That prompted Alligood to take the mound in place of Griffin. Chris Sulc batted a hard ball that couldn’t be fielded cleanly, allowing him to reach. After Holscher notched his second hit of the stanza, Little cleared the bases with a double to right-centerfield.

Little moved to third on a passed ball, allowing him to score the 10th run of the inning on Barfield’s single through the left side.

Reg Bishop dives through the air to snare a ball zipping through the left side.

On the mound, Barfield rolled through the first four frames. He allowed one hit and fanned four before handing the ball over to Sulc. Defensively, Northside performed well until the fourth. The Panthers only allowed one runner in each of the first two frames and retired the Pam Pack in order in the third.