Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Peyton Coleman Pitches 1-0 Pitching Gem Against Wolves

North Nodaway clung by their fingernails in a pitching duel featuring two of the best pitchers in the area in Peyton Coleman and Brody Cooper. In the end, North Nodaway finally broke through in the sixth inning and held on to win 1-0 against the Wolves as the first part of a double header.

It looked like a long day for the Mustangs at first when Jake McEnaney reached on third baseman Logan Keho’s dropped pop fly in the first. But then he was erased stealing, which meant the bases were empty for one of the top hitters in the area in Cooper. Cooper singled up the middle and a fly ball into right field from Gage McAdams looked like potential trouble for right fielder Austin Bird. But he was able to track it down to get the third out.

Cooper looked much more sharp in the early going; he froze Dalton Smyser and Tyler Bix on called third strikes. And Peyton Coleman started fighting the strike zone, walking two batters on eight pitches in the second before striking out Zachary Garrison to get out of the second.

North Nodaway finally had a chance to break through in the third as Makayla Cross walked and Dakota Smyser caught a hard fast ball from Cooper and hit it even harder up the middle to put runners on first and second. But then Dalton Smyser’s bunt attempt went into the air, Brody Cooper caught it, and doubled Cross off second to squelch the threat.

Keaton Williams hit one into left center that looked like trouble, but Dakota Smyser was there for the catch to start the fourth. That meant that the bases were empty for Gus Hurst’s single that dropped in front of Smyser. Peyton Coleman struck out Max Hopkins and Shae DeRosier to get out of the fourth.

Once again in the fourth, North Nodaway had a golden chance to break through against Cooper. Tyler Bix hit a pop fly single down the right field line that dropped in and he made it safely on a steal past Gage McAdams’ diving tag attempt. But Arron Coleman hit a soft liner that Bix thought was dropping in, but was snagged by McAdams who doubled off Bix.

The two pitchers were getting stronger as the night progressed, but finally, Gage McAdams took an 0-2 breaking ball with one out and deposited it down the left field line for a double in the Wolves’ sixth. Keaton Williams struck out, but then McAdams went to third on a wild pitch and Gus Hurst walked. Coleman started from the windup, stepped back as Hurst took off, but Hurst was safe anyway as Max Hopkins came to the plate. But then Coleman caught Max Hopkins chasing after a high pitch for the final out to end the sixth with the game still scoreless.

The heart of the order was coming up for the Mustangs, and it started off promising as Dakota Smyser singled up the middle to lead off. But then Dalton Smyser popped out behind second. Smyser stole second after nearly being picked off by Cooper, but it looked like the Mustang sixth would come and go with nothing to show as Cooper froze Coleman on an outside pitch for the second out. But then Tyler Bix hit a screamer down the right field line and into the gap for a double as Smyser scored for the lone run of the game.

Shae DeRosier and Zachary Garrison struck out to start the seventh, but then Jolin Joesting walked on four pitches to bring up Jake McEnaney. If he reached safely, it would bring up Cooper with runners on base, and strike three got away from Tyler Bix. But Bix recovered in time to throw out McEnaney to end the game.

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