North Central’s baseball team died with every one-run loss. Now the Indians are living by and relishing one-run wins.
NC won twice last week by a run, enabling the team to leapfrog from ninth place into a tie for fourth in the taut and ever-changing Greater Spokane League.
At one point, the team was 2-4 in league, having been involved in four one-run games and losing three.
Hard-luck player in all this was pitcher Andy Grigsby, who went 0-3 despite a 1.89 earned run average. He also is batting .450.
“I think the kids deserve worlds of credit for how they responded after the losses,” said coach Scott Harmon.
The Indians completed the first half of the season with a 4-4 record after beating Shadle Park 5-4 and upsetting league co-leader Ferris 7-6.
“That win was huge,” said Harmon. “You have to call it a program builder. It lets kids know we’re for real.”
Actually, NC won three of its four games last year against then-first place teams.
But its pitching earned run average is down from 7.17 last year to under 4.00 per game this year; the team is in contention.
“Our philosophy is dominant pitching and timely hitting,” said Harmon. “Keep us close and put the ball in play.”
The pitching has been dominant in all but a 14-13 win over Central Valley. Only recently has the hitting been timely.
Harmon pointed to Justin Williams’ key hits against Ferris, and improved hitting by Aaron Farr and Nic Froscheiser, to go with the season-long consistency of Ryan Corigliano.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs, but the kids and I have discussed city championship,” said Harmon. “It’s a clean slate in the playoffs. I also know, talent-wise, a championship goal is not unrealistic.”
NC is chasing Ferris and Mead, who both finished the first-half of the season with 6-2 records following the Saxons’ 3-2 win over Mead on Tuesday.
Rogers and Shadle Park also remain in the thick of the playoff picture, one game separating the third-through-ninth place teams.
Shadle softball also surprises
Shadle Park’s softball team is treading unfamiliar territory.
Until a three-game slump, including a makeup-game loss to Ferris on Saturday, the Highlanders were in second place, the surprise hit of the GSL season.
They reached the turn of the league season at 4-4 and part of a six-team battle for second place.
That’s as many victories as they have had in any one season in years.
The Indians are one game behind a trio of teams including Mead and Rogers. The Pirates, after a year’s absence, have returned to the playoff battle, although they lost by a run Tuesday to Central Valley.
The Pirates host Shadle in a pivotal game at 3:45 p.m. today as the second half of the league season begins.
Mead, with its Tuesday 3-1 win against Ferris, moved up through the traffic jam to tie Rogers and CV.