North improved to 8-0 on the season with a two-game sweep of Madison on Wednesday and Friday.
The Rangers traveled to Madison on Wednesday and left with a 5-0 victory and turned around on Friday and beat their guests, 10-0, to remain undefeated.
“They’re really excited,” said North coach Kyle Stahlberg of the Rangers. “We’ve got some big games coming up but they’re just enjoying this one day at a time. Tomorrow is a new day and tomorrow we’ll shift our focus to next week.”
Matt Barner pitched a complete-game gem on Wednesday.
He allowed just two hits and struck out 14 in a seven-inning complete-game shutout and then on Friday, he turned around and had a big day at the plate as he finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and three runs batted in.
“He’s a guy that I knew he could pitch a little bit but I didn’t know that it was going to be to this degree,” Stahlberg said of Barner. “His stuff is electric and he throws hard. He has some nice secondary pitches and he throws strikes and lets the defense work. He’s a catcher, so it’s been really difficult to get him at-bats because after he pitches I have to protect his arm. He’s a really good hitter so today we (put him in at designated hitter) and we let his arm recover. He did exactly what we knew he could do. He’s really putting it together and that’s awesome to see.”
John Lanning and Trent Bucy also had two hits in Friday’s win. Bucy doubled and knocked in three runs and John Keogh hit a triple for the Rangers, who pounded out a dozen hits.
“Bucy has been great and John Lanning also,” Stahlberg said. “The best part is these guys aren’t trying to do too much and we practice that in the gym and on the field, not trying to do too much. We just want to put the ball in play and get good swings on it, and when you do that, the ball finds holes. Everybody swung it well today and when they stay in that zone of playing our type of baseball, I think they’re pretty tough to beat.”
Logan Metz pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. He allowed two hits and struck out four before yielding to Sean Pesci with a 10-0 lead.
Pesci allowed one hit and struck out three in two innings of work and Ethan Zele pitched the final inning.
“It was designed,” Stahlberg said of his pitching rotation. “We had some things we wanted to try and do with our pitchers and getting our guys some innings and work. When they’re throwing strikes, it makes that plan a little easier.”
North hosts Brush on Monday.