HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Trojans lose pitcher and 2 games
May 8, 2012Huntington North High School
|Trojans lose pitcher and 2 games
Bear sustains dislocated shoulder early in first game
|John Hodge Senior Staff Writer
New Castle's baseball team has hit a midseason lull and needs a quick turnaround if it is to be a factor in the North Central Conference race.
Huntington defeated the Trojans twice on Saturday, 5-2 and 4-3, at Sunnyside Field. With two losses to Anderson earlier in the week, New Castle now has a four-game losing streak.
Even though Huntington (19-1) is ranked No. 3 in the state, New Castle could have won either game with just a couple of timely hits. They did not come. All day long, scoring opportunities came and went for the Green and White. New Castle is now 2-4 in the NCC and 13-7 overall.
The scariest moment of the day came when Michael Bear, the Trojan starting pitcher for the first game, left with a shoulder injury. In the second inning, he dove back to first base on a pickoff play.
After a delay of several minutes, Bear felt he could still play, and was allowed to take the mound for the third inning. But on his fourth pitch to Huntington's Ethan Bartram the right hander collapsed on the ground and clutched his left shoulder in severe pain.
The crowd went silent. Perhaps some fans remembered that Huntington was the same opponent the basketball Trojans were playing when they lost Steven Bennett in January.
Bear was taken to the hospital and found to have a dislocated shoulder. It is uncertain when he might return to action.
"They were able to pop his shoulder back in," New Castle Coach Brad King said. "They didn't give us any indication of what the long-term outlook might be."
Bear had retired the Vikings 1-2-3 in the first two innings and New Castle had a 2-0 lead. After the injury, Huntington went to work on Trojan relief pitcher Grant Malott. The visitors scored four runs in the next three innings to take the lead.
Malott gave way to Jason Kendall, who allowed another run. All the while, New Castle had futility on offense.
The Trojans mounted scoring threats in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings but could get no one across the plate. Huntington pitcher Evan Brown got the victory.
"That's how our last couple games have gone, " Coach King said. "We don't have anyone stepping up and getting that big base hit. We've got to put the ball in play when we have people in scoring position. Huntington did that today and we didn't."
Conner King, who recently became New Castle's career hit leader, had two hits in the opener.
The second game was much the same story. New Castle had plenty of base runners, but few runs. They game ended with the potential tying run on third base.
Trey Ball was the losing pitcher in the second game, while Trevor Storie pitched the victory.
New Castle's Jordan Day had two hits in the second game. Trojan extra-base hits for the day were two doubles by Malott, and one each by Kodi King and Adam Kranda.
New Castle is at Muncie Central on Tuesday and plays the Bearcats at home on Wednesday.