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GOSHEN – Cameron Masterman changed North Oldham’s game against Oldham County Thursday night with one big swing.
Masterman hit a fifth-inning grand slam over the left-field wall to push the Mustangs lead from 1-0 to 5-0. North would go on to win 7-4, evening the regular season series against its visiting cross-town rival at 1-1.
The win came one night after a Christian Haynes single in the seventh gave OC a 4-3 win over North in Buckner.
North (8-4, 1-1 District 29) and OC (8-7, 1-1) now each trail district leader South Oldham (8-3, 2-0) by one game, and are ahead of Trimble County (3-6, 0-2) by one.
“It’s really big because looking forward we have South and Trimble, so you don’t want to start off (district play) on a 0-2 streak,” Masterman said.
Masterman’s slam popped the top off of what, to that point, had been a pitcher’s duel between Colonel right-hander Griffin McLarty and Mustang lefty Logan Morsman.
The game’s first run didn’t cross until the bottom of the fifth, when North second baseman Andrew Pennybaker drove designated hitter Evan Cripe home with a one-out, bases-loaded infield single.
That brought Masterman up with the bases still loaded. After working the count full, the freshman third baseman said he was looking for a breaking ball from McLarty.
“I was seeing curveballs all day, so I was kind of expecting another curveball,” Masterman said. “…It was pretty exciting.”
Masterman got a low curveball from McLarty and sent it to deep left field. Colonel left fielder Tanner Hennings raced back toward the wall, then stopped and watched it fly over the fence.
The slam stretched OC’s lead to 5-0. That lead increased to 6-0 later in the inning when courtesy runner Flynn Crawford alertly came home on a throwing error by Colonel catcher Jaxon Lashley.
“We got on base and we just kind of had the momentum going,” Masterman said.
OC had chances to take leads before North’s six-run fifth. The Colonels got the leadoff hitter on base in four of the first five frames thanks to an infield single, two walks and a hit batter.
But Morsman got out of jams by pitching to contact and letting his defense take care of business in the field.
“If we play good defense, we can get out of anything,” Morsman said.
OC got a run back in the sixth on a Jacob Bates RBI single, but North pushed its lead back to six runs, at 7-1, on a Pennybaker RBI groundout.
The Colonels threatened to get back in the game in the top of the seventh inning.
After Hennings hit a fly ball for the first out, the next three batters reached base – Ross Gowing on a walk, Brennan Byrd with a single and McLarty with a walk.
Morsman gave way on the mound after 6 1/3 innings to fellow left-hander Cripe, but he had trouble closing the door.
OC shortstop Austin Norman hit an RBI single off Cripe to cut the lead to 7-3.
Cripe got Lashley to line out to shortstop Roman Millem, but then walked Austin Funk and Bates. A wild pitch during Bates’ at-bat made the score 7-4.
Finally, with two outs, the bases loaded and Bates standing at first and representing the tying run, Cripe struck Haynes out swinging to end the game.
Oldham County (8-7, 1-1) – 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 – 4 6 2
North Oldham (8-4, 1-1) – 0 0 0 0 6 1 x – 7 9 3