N. Pike wins thriller over Lawrence Co.

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2001

SUMMIT – North Pike and Lawrence County waged one of the mostspirited non-division baseball battles imaginable Saturday night,with the Jaguars finally prevailing 11-9 in nine innings on BuddyVan Norman’s three-run home run. Twice Van Norman came through whenthe home-standing Jaguars were down to their final out.

In the bottom of the seventh, Van Norman’s RBI single knottedthe game at 8-8. Then, faced with the same situation in the bottomof the ninth, his blast over the left field fence snatched victoryfrom the jaws of defeat.

With the win, Coach George Lott’s Jaguars improved to 12-2.Lawrence County, under first-year head coach Chris Clark, fell to9-8.

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The game had a little bit of everything. Unfortunately for theCougars, it ended the way most of Lawrence County’s close gameshave ended this season – in heart-breaking defeat.

“Man, I feel for our kids,” said Clark. “They’ve suffered someincredibly tough losses this year, and this is about as tough asthey come in a non-division setting. Twice we were one out awayfrom the effort our kids put forth. That was one of the bestefforts we’ve had this year, possibly the best.

“With this being my first year in this area, I came in here notknowing much about North Pike,” Clark said. “They are loaded, andCoach Lott and his team did a great job, too.”

The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between LawrenceCounty’s Michael Edwards and North Pike’s Dusty Davis.

In the bottom of the third, Clements put North Pike on top witha two-run homer to right. The Cougars came back to take a 3-2 leadin the top of the fourth on Tyler Ball’s two-run single. Twounearned runs in the bottom of the inning put North Pike back ontop 4-3. They added another unearned run in the bottom of the fifthto take a 5-3 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Lawrence County scored five runs,taking advantage of four walks, and two-run singles by Will Dawseyand Nathan Evans to take an 8-5 lead.

Clements’ second home run of the evening cut the Lawrence Countylead to 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth. That set the stage for VanNorman’s tieing two-run single in the bottom of the seventh off ofBall, who had relieved Edwards.

The Cougars squandered golden opportunities in both the top ofthe eighth and ninth when they left the bases loaded each time, butthey took the lead 9-8 in the top of the ninth when catcher ZackPowell scored on Evans’ sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ball retired the first two Jaguarbatters before walking Clements and allowing a single to PhillipCoffey. Dusty Williamson was brought in to pitch to Van Norman, whohit the first pitch out to end the game.

Edwards, T. J. Johnson, Ball and Williamson all pitched forLawrence County, with Edwards and Ball combining for 10 strikeoutsin 8 2/3 innings of work.

“I thought all of our pitchers did well,” said Clark, “and thatincludes Dusty (Williamson). When you face a team with that muchpop, sometimes it happens. He came in and threw a good pitch, andit got hit. It happens. Michael (Clements) and Tyler (Ball) pitchedvery well, and T. J. (Johnson) got us an out.”

Dawsey was the Cougars’ leading hitter with his first-everfour-hit game. Evans had two hits and drove in three runs.

Lawrence County returns to Division 6-4A action Tuesday nightwhen they host Terry at Jimmie Davis Park.



North Pike



203 – 11



Lawrence Co.



001 – 9



@Bbstandings: WP – Davis. LP -Ball (0-1). HR – Clements (NP) 2, Van Norman (NP).2B – Edwards (LC), Matthews (NP). MultipleHits – Dawsey (LC) 4, Eldridge (NP) 3, Van Norman (NP) 3,Clements (NP) 2, Evans (LC) 2.