Six was the magic number for North Montgomery in a 12-6 baseball win over No.4 ranked Crawfordsville.
The Chargers scored six runs in the fifth inning when they were down 5-0.
They scored six more in the seventh after the Athenians tied the game, appropriately, at 6-6, to win the game by six.
North moves to 13-7 with the win, while Crawfordsville drops to 18-2 and a 10-game win streak ends.
The Chargers win also tightens the Sagamore Conference race.
Crawfordsville drops to 10-1, while North moves to 8-3, second in the league. Frankfort is 7-3 with a Thursday game against WeBo. After that, the leaders all have three games to play next week.
The Chargers had heroes up and down the lineup as they square the season series with Crawfordsville, after a 5-2 Athenians win Tuesday.
Corbin Meadows threw a complete game and moves his record to 4-1. The sophomore was literally at the end of his pitch count when he got the last out in the seventh. He scattered 10 hits, walked two and struck out six.
“Corbin kept Crawfordsville off-balance,” North coach Matt Voorhees said. “He used more off-speed stuff tonight. He also got some phenomenal play from his outfield, who tracked down some well-hit balls.”
Offensively, the Chargers were silent for four innings, as Athenians starting pitcher Bryce Dowell cruised along, albeit with a double-play in the second and a couple big outfield catches as well.
The fifth inning changed everything.
North sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six. Things started with the bottom three hitters all reaching base and all scoring. Meadows started things off with a double, and Jakob Kirsch finished things with a triple. Dowell exited.
The Athenians, who had taken a very comfy 5-0 lead into that fifth with three runs in the second and a pair in the third, now found themselves down.
They came back to knot things at a half-dozen each when Alex Kellerman tripled and later scored.
Kellerman, however, was the pitcher who took the brunt of the North onslaught in the seventh, as the Chargers touched the senior for three hits. A walk and hit batter compounded the trouble.
North got the first six hitters on base. Jakob Kirsch’s single drove in two to give the Chargers the lead, and Breyden Martin’s single drove in two more.
“We got big hits when we needed them,” Voorhees said, “directly opposite of last night. We executed very well at the plate and got the guys around. I think our guys knew after last night that we could compete with that good team, and there was no fear tonight. Last night made them hungrier for tonight. We also had so many guys contribute in so many ways. We had a lot of guys come in and pinch run and score, run the bases well. We know that when we execute, we can compete, and it was really good to beat a good team and a good program like Crawfordsville. I think it’s about the second win for me in about 10 tries. Another thing I really want to point out is that we had so many really good, young players playing at a high level on both teams. There is so much good young talent. It speaks volumes about baseball in this county.”
Dylan Braun had two hits, and drew praise from his coach about the game he called behind the plate. Jakob Kirsch and Martin also had a pair of hits. The Chargers got at least on run from all nine spots in the batting order. Brookes Walters extended his hitting streak to all 20 North games this season with a first-inning single.
“This sure wasn’t typical,” Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz said of the double-six allowed runs. “It’s crazy though. Baseball can catch up to you pretty quickly. We just couldn’t stop the snowball rolling in each inning. First, give a lot of credit to North. They played well. We made a couple defensive decisions that cost us, and the important thing for us to do now is learn from this - create a positive out of this negative. We still have the conference title in front of us, and this has been a really positive season so far. Sure, there is a bad taste after tonight, but we go figure out what to do differently, learn from that and move on.”
The Athenians finished with 10 hits. Kellerman had two, as did Wyatt Motz and Kaiden Underwood. Evan Chaney and A.J. Hall each had two RBI.
The Sagamore race heads to its conclusion next week.
The Chargers have two games with Tri-West and a home game with Southmont.
Crawfordsville has two with Frankfort and finishes things with a home contest against Lebanon. A win for the Athenians guarantees them a share of the title and any two wins will give them the outright championship.
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