LEWISBURG —After opening the season with four straight wins, Tri-County North’s baseball team ended the opening week of the season with a pair of losses to traditional Division III power Versailles.
The Panthers swept a double-header from Dixie 13-1 and 14-0 on Saturday, March 26, rolled over Bradford 19-2 on Tuesday and shutout Franklin-Monroe 10-0 on Wednesday, before concluding the week with the Tigers.
Despite a big day at the dish from Logan Elmore, who finished 2-for-3, North lost 17-5 to Versailles on Saturday.
Three of the Panthers’ runs were scored thanks to timely hitting by Elmore. He singled in the second inning and doubled in the fourth inning.
Versailles handled North pitching as six hitters combined for 13 hits, 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored.
The game was never in doubt after the first, as Versailles scored two runs on a two-run single.
The Panthers scored two runs in the bottom of the second to cut their deficit to two. A groundout by Colin Whipp and an RBI single by Elmore fueled the comeback.
After pushing across two runs in the bottom of the fourth, North faced just a 12-5 deficit. A two-run double by Elmore gave his team life. But a ground out ended the threat.
Game two was a tight game until Versailles scored seven late runs for the 17-7 victory.
Colin Whipp was hot from the plate for North. Whipp went 2-for-3, drove in one and scored two runs. He singled in the fourth inning and doubled in the sixth inning.
The Panthers scored one run of their own in the second on an error.
It didn’t take long for North to respond as they scored three runs of their own in the fourth. The Panthers scored on an RBI double by Hendrickson, an RBI single by Whipp, and an RBI double by Logan Elmore.
The game’s last lead went to Versailles thanks to a fifth inning rally that saw six runs cross the plate on two errors, a fielder’s choice, and two singles.
A two-run sixth inning helped bring the Panthers within three. An RBI single by Zach Edgin and a wild pitch sparked the rally. The Tri-County North Panthers Varsity threat came to an end when Knapke finally got Chandler Sproles to ground out.
Versailles added seven more runs in the top of the seventh. The inning got off to a hot start when Knapke singled, scoring Subler.
A six-run explosion in the second inning led North to a 10-0 win in five innings over Franklin-Monroe on Wednesday.
Edgin racked up two RBIs on two hits.
North pitcher Chandler Sproles kept Franklin-Monroe off the scoreboard for all five innings, tossing a shutout, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out three.
The game was never in doubt after the first, as the Panthers scored two runs on two singles.
After posting one run in the fourth, North scored another in the fifth. In the fourth, the Panthers scored on a walk by Colin Whipp, bringing home Sproles.
The previous night, North jumped out to an early lead on Bradford and captured a 19-2 victory on Tuesday.
Thirteen runs in the first three innings allowed the Panthers to put the game away early.
A wild pitch, a groundout by Bo Hendrickson, and an RBI single by Jordan Overcash in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by Tanner Booth, an error, and an RBI double by Overcash during the second inning supplied the early offense for North.
Logan Elmore racked up three RBIs on three hits for the Tri-County North Panthers Varsity. He doubled in the first inning and singled in the second and fifth innings.
Booth got it done on the mound on the way to a win. He allowed two runs over five innings. He struck out five, walked two and surrendered five hits.
Branson couldn’t get it done on the hill for Bradford, taking a loss. He allowed six runs in two innings, walked four and struck out two.
In the second game of a double-header, North beat Dixie, 14-0, behind both the bat and the arm of Chandler Sproles.
Sproles went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. He singled in the first, third, and sixth innings.
Sproles kept contact to a minimum, striking out 10 Dixie batters. He tossed six innings of shutout ball and allowed only three hits.
In game one, against Dixie, two pitchers joined forces to throw a no-hitter in a 13-1 victory in five innings over Dixie on Saturday.
Tanner Booth and Colin Whipp rounded out their stat line with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
Dixie couldn’t get anything going as long as Booth was on the bump. Booth held Dixie hitless over 3 2/3 innings, allowed no earned runs, walked one and struck out 10.
North (4-2, 2-0 CCC) was scheduled to visit Missisinawa Valley on Tuesday, April 5 and Valley View on Thursday. They will close out the week with a trip to Dayton Christian on Friday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or @emowen_RH