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    North closes season with win over rival South

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    North concluded its 2023 season with a 9-5 win over rival South at Classic Park on Friday.

    With the win, the Rangers finished the season 11-15 after starting it 2-12.

    “I’m extremely pleased, especially when you consider the way we started,” said North coach Mike Duncan. “That was probably our best of the season there against South. We scored more runs in the second inning than we had in a lot of games, even some of the ones we won. We were able to come up with some big hits with guys on base.”

    Clutch hitting plagued the Rangers in the first half of the season.

    North opened the season with a five-game losing skid and lost four straight to drop to 2-12. The Ranger closed out the season by winning nine of their last 12, including two over their neighborhood rivals.

    Devin Nix singled and scored on Jayden Teague’s two-out single in the top of the first to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead, but it didn’t last long as the Rebels evened things up with one run on three hits in the bottom half of the inning.

    North broke the game open with a six-run second.

    James Keough singled to start the rally and Bo Vinson walked. Kevin Gough then hit a two-run double and Carson Petrecca then singled. Andrew Gunton’s two-out, RBI double pushed North’s lead to 4-1 and Teague tripled home two more runs, and then scored on a passed ball.

    South answered with one run in the bottom of the second, but the Rangers added another in the top of the fourth when Teague walked and scored on Gough’s RBI single with two outs.

    North pushed its lead to 9-2 in the fifth when Petrecca hit a leadoff triple and scored on a wild pitch.

    South scored three in the bottom of the fifth to close out the scoring.

    Teague finished the game 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI. Petrecca also was 2-for-4 with a triple. Owen Hopper, Gunton, and Gough each doubled in the game.

    Logan Edwards earned the pitching victory after allowing five runs—only two of them earned—on seven hits with one strikeout in four innings of work. Nick Licursi allowed two hits and struck out five in three scoreless innings.

    South’s Aaron Gillespie and Anthony Shields each recorded three hits for the Rebels.

    The season ended too soon for the Rangers, who closed out the year playing their best baseball of the season.

    But, Duncan is excited about the future with a large portion of his roster returning.

    “I’m very excited,” he said. “A lot of the guys that got their first taste of varsity are now going to be more experienced and ready. That was our big thing early on, we just had so many guys that didn’t have varsity experience, so it took us a while to get going. We’ve got a number of juniors that will be back next year, and in our last few games, we had a sophomore and a freshman come up from the JV team to help us out and performed well. I’m real optimistic about next year.”

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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