BY CHRIS COWBROUGH
S-E Sports Editor
Northport High got more solid pitching and timely hitting in a 10-0, 13-3 sweep of Columbia/Inchelium back on April 10.
Josh Konkler and Daulton Burke combined on a one-hitter in the opening game.
The Mustangs took full advantage of walks and hit batters in both games.
“We scattered around 11 hits and used a lot of bases on balls and hit by pitch to have runners on base all day,” NHS head coach Don Baribault said. “We chipped away, but never had that huge inning.
“Part of that is how it goes. We had a couple of bases loaded double plays on hard hit line drives that doubled us off.”
In the second game, junior right-hander Jeremiah Johnson outdueled Columbia/Inchelium’s Thomas Cohen. Johnson scattered four hits and went five innings before being relieved by Brandon Hedrick in the sixth inning.
Johnson struck out 10 and used a variety of off-speed pitches to keep the Timberwolves off balance all afternoon.
Burke, Jace Shaw and Dylon Masters all doubled, and Brandon Hedrick hit his second home run of the season.
Baribault says he’s pleased with his team’s depth and pitching this spring.
“With the rainouts and the shortened five-inning games, it has been hard to fully evaluate our pitching staff, but I think we are five deep and they can all win games for us,” Baribault figured.
“We are definitely not a power-hitting team, but we are starting to hit the ball better and scatter the ball around a lot more.”
Baribault, like most other coaches, has noticed a difference in the new BBCOR bats that have been mandated for high school baseball this spring.
“The balls do not carry whatsoever and we have been playing a lot shallower on defense,” Baribault said of the new bats, which are mainly geared to making the game safer for players.
“That has worked out well for us. Everything continues to be in front of our defenders.”
Match the NCAA
The National Federation of State High School Associations instituted mandatory use of the BBCOR (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) bat to replace the traditional and springier BESR (Ball Exit Speed Ratio bat). The rules were changed by the NFHS, the governing body of high school baseball, to match NCAA rules.
Both bats are aluminum, but the ball generally jumps off the BESR bats at a much higher speed compared to the new bats.
NHS 10, C/I 0
C/I 000 00 --0 1 3
NHS 222 31--10 11 1
Foster and Flett; Konkler, Burke (50) and Hedrick. W—Konkler (3-0). L—Foster. Sv—Burke.
Hits: Northport—2B, Burke, Shaw.
NHS 13, C/I 3
C/I 001 026— 3 4 5
NHS 202 603 – 13 14 3
Cohen and Flett; Johnson, Hedrick (6) and Masters. W—Johnson. L—Cohen. Sv—Hedrick.
Hits: 2B—Cohen, Masters, Shaw. HR—Hedrick.