Tyler Bowers had a good week in the span of a few hours.
Bowers, North Central’s junior third baseman, belted four doubles and a single while driving in seven runs to help propel the Knights to a 14-4 Senior Night victory over visiting Camden Military Academy. The hosts blew this one open thanks to a nine-run fourth inning.
Bowers’ Wednesday night heroics elevated his batting average to .541 on a season in which he has smacked six doubles with a pair of home runs while having driven in 13 runs for Robbie Cash’s troops.
The win, in a game stopped by the 10-run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning snapped a short two-game skid, for the hosts who improved to 6-7 on the season.
This night was not all about Bowers, though. Instead, Cash heaped praise on his team’s seniors --- John Bowers, Alex Tarlton, Tyler Steele and Hunter Wyant --- who were honored as part of a pre-game ceremony.
"It was a great night all-around," Cash said. "All of our seniors had a hit in this game which made it even more special for them and for our program.
"We decided to move our Senior Night to the middle, rather than at the end of our season, so that we could hang the banners honring each of our seniors on the fence for more than just a game or two."
The hosts jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Stephen Barrett got on with a leadoff single and scored on Tyler Bowers’ double to center. Bowers made it 2-0 when he came in on a John Bowers RBI single to center.
The visiting Spartans did all their damage in the second and third innings, scoring a pair of runs in both frames for head coach and Camden native Griff Beckham. But it would be all Knights after that starting with their biggest frame of the season in the fourth.
Wyant kick-started the inning with a bunt single. A Barrett walk was followed by a two-run RBI single off the bat of Tyler Bowers which led to a Cam Holley single. With two gone, Jeremiah Jenkins was hit by a pitch to keep the inning going. Tarlton and Wyant would reach the same way to load the bases for Barrett, whose grounder was played into an error as Tarlton scored to make it 8-4. Tyler Bowers then smacked a three-run double to right to close the scoring for that frame.
NC put this one to bed with a four-run sixth as Wyant and Barrett drew consecutive one-out walks before Tyler Bowers doubled home Wyant. A Holley ground out plated Barrett while Bowers scored the 14th run when Chase Stephens got aboard on an error.
NC finished the game with 11 hits with six players having one each, in addition to the five from Tyler Bowers.
Cash said his offense was able to capitalize on the bunts while leaving the heavy lifting to Tyler Bowers against a CMA squad which was playing for the first time in two weeks.
"CMA was in a similar situation to what we were in on Monday in our game at Lewisville with playing a game after not having one during spring break," Cash said. "The final score was not indicative of how good a team they have at CMA."
John Bowers got the starting nod for the Knights and the lefty worked the first three innings before giving way to Holley who picked up the win for his two innings of work. Barrett threw the sixth.
"Our pitchers did a good job," Cash said. "But the big thing was that we got the win for our seniors who all played well and who deserved something like this to happen for them."