North’s baseball team played its most complete game of the year in downing host Mayfield, 6-1, on Wednesday.
The Rangers got a strong pitching performance out of Jake Arrison, who struck out six in a complete game victory, clutching hitting from several players and big plays on defense in the win.
“It was an awesome win,” said North coach Kyle Stahlberg. “The defense was phenomenal all day. Everybody played very, very well defensively and Jake was about as focused as I’ve seen him all year. The guys on offense executed very well. We called a couple plays on offense that they were able to execute. When you’re firing on all cylinders like that we can give anybody a run. It felt good to do it against an opponent like Mayfield.”
North jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third when Arrison hit a one out single and moved to second after Brad Burrows was hit by a pitch. Zack Mitchell reached on an error to load the bases and Trent Russo knocked in a run on a ground out. Kenny Streb then doubled to center to make it 3-0.
“I went up with the approach only looking for the fastball to drive and the pitcher left it a little up, so I drove it into right center,” Streb said. “It’s a great feeling being able to put the team ahead in an important game.”
Tyler Nagorski’s fourth inning double helped the Rangers build a 6-0 lead.
Mitchell singled to open the inning and he moved to second on Streb’s single. Nagorski drilled a 1-1 pitch into left center to score two runs then he scored on Chase Axelrod’s single.
“They were huge,” Stahlberg said of Streb’s and Nagorski’s clutch hits. “We had set the inning up with some nice execution and those guys came up and didn’t try to do too much. They put some good swings on the ball and found the gap. Those two work very hard and it shows when they can get up there in clutch, high-pressure situations and do things like that.”
Mayfield got one back in the bottom half of the inning on back-to-back singles by Vince Donato and Samuel Guerrini but Arrison and the Rangers shut down the Wildcats the rest of the way.
Arrison allowed just one baserunner in the final three innings of the game.
“He was throwing his fastball and his changeup very well,” Stahlberg said. “The guys behind him made some phenomenal plays. That’s a big reason why we kept them down to one run. We made some plays we probably shouldn’t have made. I was happy with that.”
Arrison allowed one earned run on four hits and struck out six in improving to 6-2 on the year with a 2.11 earned run average.
“I thought my outing was really good today,” Arrison said. “My fastball was able to be spotted great and my changeup was amazing today with location. I was able to do whatever I wanted and however I wanted to do it with that pitch. This is a big confidence booster going into the playoffs.”
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