By Pete Chiodo
April 27, 2013 7:00 a.m. UNION CITY —
If, as Crash Davis said in the movie “Bull Durham,” strikeouts are fascist; then go ahead and call Ryan Northcott ‘Mussolini.’
The Cochranton senior worked only five innings, but found time to strike out 10 of the 18 batters he faced, leading up to a 7-1 victory by the Cardinals over Region 3 Class A opponent Union City on Friday.
“Ryan pitched a heck of a game,” said Cochranton head coach John Svirbly. “At one point he had seven strikeouts in a row.”
Northcott allowed two hits in the first inning — a double by Drake Burgess and an RBI single by Shane Russell. But then he buckled down and retired 11 straight batters, and 14 of the final 15 that he faced.
“I was throwing mainly fast balls (in the first inning),” said Northcott. “I wasn’t mixing up my pitches. They were sitting dead fast balls. So I mixed in more junk the next inning. That really threw them off, had them guessing.”
Matt Silloway came in and finished the game off, yielding one hit and one walk while striking out three more over the final two innings.
“Matt came in and got the hold,” said Svirbly. “That was nice to see; a sophomore coming in and pitching with confidence.”
Cochranton’s pitchers also got plenty of run support.
Joel Mowris led off the first by reaching on an error, and then scoring on a sac fly by Northcott.
The Cardinals then rang up four runs in the second. Silloway had an RBI single. Jake Yarnell hit a run-scoring double to the right-center gap. And A.J. Nageotte drove in a pair of runs with a single to the same spot.
In the fourth inning, Jesse Staudt hit his first of three straight base hits, bashing a home run to left-center field to lead off the frame.
Staudt just missed clearing the fence in left-center in the fifth inning, settling instead for double. He was later brought in on a single by Caleb Peterson.
“That (double) was an outside pitch and (Staudt) still turned on it,” said Union City head coach Frank Cutshall. “My assistant coach said, ‘That was an outside pitch.’ I said, ‘Good thing it was, or he would have had another one.’ He’s a strong kid.”
Staudt also hit a single in the seventh, leading the Redbirds with three hits in three at bats, two runs scored and one RBI. Nageotte was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Cardinals had 10 hits total.
“That was our second error-free baseball game,” said Svirbly. “And this time we came out on top. Last time we played CASH and played an error-free game but we weren’t quite hitting the ball. This time we got the bats on the ball. “
The win improves Cochranton’s record to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Region 3.
“We’ve got another matchup (today at 11 a.m.) in Cambridge that was rescheduled.”
Cochranton also plays Union City again on Monday in Cochranton.
“That would be three nice wins back-to-back-to-back,” said Svirbly. “But we need to play well. That would put us right where we need to be.”
Union City slips to 2-4 on the season and 2-2 in the region.
“That’s been the story of our season,” said Bears head coach Frank Cutshall. “We can’t seem to put the ball in play when we need to. Ryan warmed up and threw well. We knew we were going to see him. We just needed to put the ball in play, and we’ve been struggling with that all season.”