Tyler Bowers fired a complete game three-hitter as North Central avenged a Region 4-AA opening loss to Buford last Friday with a 3-1 win over host Chesterfield on Monday night.
The victory gave Robbie Cash’s squad a 1-2 record in the regular season and a 1-1 conference ledger.
Bowers, a junior right-hander, struck out 11 Ram batters but was still on the hook for the loss after five innings as the hosts scored the first run of the night in the home portion of the first frame.
The Knights, who did all their offensive damage on five hits, scored all three of their runs in the top of the sixth with the big blow coming off the bat of senior John Bowers who drove in a pair of runs with a two-run double along the right field line.
The Knights’ sixth inning comeback opened with Cam Holley working his way on base with a nine-pitch leadoff walk. "That was a great at-bat," Cash said of Holley’s getting on to ignite the rally. "Cam fouled off some really good pitches to stay alive."
With Holley on first, Tyler Bowers got his second single of the night before a walk to Stephen Barrett loaded the bases with no outs. Chesterfield appeared to be getting itself out of the jam thanks to a pair of strikeouts only to have the Rams’ pitcher hit Jeremiah Jenkins with a pitch to plate Holley with the tying run. That set up John Bowers’ game-winning double which was all the run support Tyler Bowers needed.
Tyler Bowers went the distance with just 88 pitches while throwing first-pitch strikes to 23 of the 25 batters that he faced.
"A tip of the cap has to go to our pitching coach, Brandon Faulkenberry, who called a great game," Cash said. "And Chase Stephens also caught a great game behind the plate. He made some big blocks on curveballs that were in the dirt which he did not let go by him."
Cash said his team, which came out of a tough week with losses to Lewisville and Buford, overcame adversity on Monday in coming back to get the victory in a tough place for visitors to win.
"We had a rough week last week and it was a good for our kids to get a big conference win at the Ponderosa in Chesterfield," Cash said. "Hopefully, this will get us back on the right track."
The Knights open a three-game homestand tonight when Andrew Jackson comes to Boonetown for a 6 p.m. game followed by Friday’s 7 p.m. contest with Indian Land.