ARCANUM – Mother Nature has not cooperated well with spring sports in the past week or so. Friday’s baseball game between Arcanum and Tri-County North was no exception.
The game began with a light sprinkle, but by the fourth inning that had given way to a light snow. So not only did the two teams have to battle with each other, they had to battle the elements.
Arcanum got an early lead then North closed within two, but Arcanum was able to make a late-inning surge and pull away for a 16-9 win.
Despite the cold weather, it was the Trojans who got a hot hand and built up an early lead. North had a tough time establishing an offense, but Arcanum quickly built an 8-2 advantage.
Tri-County North has done very well in the Cross County Conference in recent years, and the Panthers showed why they are a team that consistently finishes in the top of the league by mounting a furious comeback in the fifth inning. Wade Meeks had gotten the Trojans off to a good start on the mound – Arcanum was up 8-3 – but it was time for relief.
But the next relief pitcher had a rough time adapting to the conditions. At one point it had looked like Arcanum might be able to run rule Tri-County North, but with walks and hits North was able to make a run and draw within two runs, 11-9, at the end of the fifth inning. A resilient Panther team was on the verge of making a comeback.
Now the ball was handed to Mike Fecker. He had to face North for the rest of the game, but he requited himself well. He kept the Panthers from scoring and preserved the win for the Trojans. The Trojan offense also made a last-inning surge.
“Mike Fecker came in and just did an excellent job,” Arcanum coach Randy Baker said. “He just threw strikes for us. He had a couple of walks but just battled through them. I was very proud of him.”
Likewise, North had to put in a relief pitcher. He came on in the seventh inning. But Arcanum figured him out early and padded its lead with five more runs to provide the margin of victory.
“It was a weather game – both teams battled extremely hard,” Baker said. “We had a big lead but gave it up – but we were able to battle back. I am extremely proud of our team tonight. Anytime that you can beat North, well, you set yourself up for league.
“(It was so miserable) at the end. Both teams were just throwing fastballs. It was hard to make plays in this weather. I never coached in anything like this before.”
So snow bowl or maybe snow ball – either way Arcanum was able to figure out a way to defeat Tri-County North and that gives the Trojans an early lead in the CCC.