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    South rides five-run fifth to win over North

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    WILLOUGHBY—South used a five-run fifth inning to pull away from visiting North in a 6-4 rivalry game win on Wednesday.

    The win was the second of the season for the Rebels, who slowed down a hot North team that entered the game having won four of its last five contests.

    “We’re 10 games in and we’re 2-8 now,” said South coach Brian Pellegrini. “We’re still trying to find our identity and hopefully today is that big stepping stone in the right direction for us.”

    The game began in a defensive stalemate as both pitchers allowed only two hits through the first three innings with North’s Tyler Leasure notching three strikeouts and South’s Nick Barrus earning two.

    The Rangers began the top of the fourth with a runner in scoring position thanks to back-to-back Rebel errors. Leasure drove in the first run of the evening with an RBI single. A second series of succeeding errors would bring Leasure home to make it 2-0.

    South responded with five runs in the fifth.

    Luke Ferrari drew a one-out walk and Brody Namestnik earned a free pass with two outs in the inning. Barrus singled home Ferrari and Niko Frizell followed with an RBI single that tied the game. Mac Rath singled home another run that gave South its first lead, 3-2. Ayden Collins added an RBI single, and Rath scored on an error that left the Rebels in the lead, 5-2.

    “We have two guys that have varsity experience, other than that they’re all new and a lot of those guys stepped up,” Pellegrini said. “They stayed within themselves, made good at-bats, and went to work with two outs.”

    The Rebels added another run in the bottom of the sixth when Ferrari hit a one-out single and stole second. He scored on Namestnik’s two-out RBI single.

    North pulled to within 6-4 in the top of the seventh but left the bases full of Rangers.

    Ethan Grinstead and Jayden Teague drew back-to-back walks to start the inning and Sean Register singled Grinstead home to cut the South lead to 6-3. Gerardo Torres doubled but Teague was gunned down at the plate. Devin Nix walked to load the bases and Braylon Rolf was hit by a pitch that drove in another run.

    “We just point out to them it’s a simple game,” North coach Mike Duncan said on how he coached his team down in the seventh. “If we put the ball in play, good things can happen. These guys are fighters.”

    Barrus coaxed a flyout out of the next batter to end the game.

    Namestnik and Collins both finished 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Rebels. Barrus, Frizell, Rath, Ferrari, and Lucas Gennarelli each had hits for the Rebels.

    Barrus went the distance on the mound. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and fanned five.

    Register led the Rangers with his 2-for-3 performance, which included a run scored and an RBI. Nix, Rolf, Grinstead, and Torres also had hits for the Rangers.

    Leasure took the loss for the Rangers as he allowed four earned runs on five hits and struck out three in 4 2/3 innings of work. Patrick Keough allowed one unearned run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning, and Richie Hill allowed one unearned run on two hits in one inning.

    “Cutting down on the mistakes,” Duncan said when asked what it would take to bounce back after the loss to South. “We made a lot of little mistakes today–missing a cut-off man or dropping a relay throw–and if we can eliminate those, we’re going to be in every ballgame.”

    South hosts Lakeside on Thursday while North will entertain Kirtland.

     

     

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