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North County Champs
J. C. Tilton

After graduating a slew of players last season, folks in the area wondered if North would be decimated by the loss of talent. This has turned out to be a season where North has reloaded. At different points in the season, the pitching carried the team and when the pitching faltered the Panthers got their bats out and produced timely runs. The team has finished the regular season 19-3, sitting on top of the CCC and this past Saturday they won the county tournament to add that crown to their collection.

It was a busy week for North. They began the week hosting Tri-Village. The Panthers jumped on Patriot pitching early. Pierce Putnam hit a grand slam home run and Matt Ferguson parked the ball for another 2 runs, and hit a triple. Matt Zumstein also hit a three bagger, and Cody Holp had 2 doubles. The final score reflected the offensive firepower of the Panthers as they cruised to a 18-3 win. John Heeter was the starting pitcher, while Clint Overholtz closed. Coach Tincher commented after the game that the hitting had been slow lately and it was nice to see the team get back into groove with some big hits.

The Panthers next played Newton. It was a close ball game until the Panthers broke out with a 3 run inning in the 6th to distance themselves from the Indians. Pitching for the Panthers was Matt Ferguson. Jim Anderson had a good game from the plate - 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI's.

Regular season play was ended with the Preble County tournament held at Lewisburg. Eaton won big over TVS in the first round and advanced to play North. TCN had a comfortable 7-2 lead, but in the last inning Eaton scored 3 runs to pull within 2. With runners on second and third and 2 outs, North was able to put away the Eagles and advance to the championship round. Clint Overholtz had the win. Earlier National Trail had won a squeaker over Preble Shawnee 1-0 to advance to the championship round. However, North was all over the Trail pitching. In the second inning with 2 outs North scored 9 runs. They never looked back as they ran with the game and the championship by a final score of 13-3. Eric Croley was the wining pitcher in this game. This completes a successful regular season for the Panthers and they only get Sunday to rest as they begin tournament play the following Monday.

Coach Tincher was pleased with the regular season win, but has the team focused on the post season. I was happy to get the wins and the county championship; with the tournament on Monday we had to hold our best pitcher out as did Eaton who has 2 more games to play. It shows the depth of the team. Comments

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