Monday, March 21, 2016

Bison get third in White County tourney

Bison catcher Tyler Sanders talks to pitcher Zach Caviness during their team's win over Pangburn (Photos courtesy of David and Stephanie Sanders)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

PANGBURN — The Carlisle Bison baseball team got two big wins Saturday in the White County Classic. 
The Bison beat host Pangburn 9-8 in a four-inning contest then routed Bradford 21-0 to finish third in the tournament. The wins were the Bison's first two of the season. 
"I'm awfully proud of my boys," first-year Bison coach Shawn Woods said. "they came together and won a hard-fought game against Pangburn — one of the better teams in Class 2A. [Pangburn] Coach [Cody] Whitworth does a great job. They will be in the state tournament come May."
Against Pangburn, the Bison scored four runs in the top of the first. Conner Wiles, Tyler Sanders and Houston Garrich all walked to load the bases to start the game. They all scored runs. Mitch Lewis singled and scored as well. 
The Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 4-4. 
After holding the Bison scoreless in the top of the second, Pangburn scored twice in the bottom of the second to lead 6-4. 
Carlisle scored three times in the top of the third to lead 7-6. Scoring were Lewis, Clay Parker and Zac VanHouten. 
The Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the third to lead 8-7. Carlisle reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth. With one out, Garrich singled. He scored on a triple by Austin Wolfe, who scored the go-ahead run.
In the top of the fourth, VanHouten retired the Tigers in order to end the game.
The Bison had five hits in the victory. Sanders, Garrich, Wolfe, VanHouten and Lewis had one hit each.
VanHouten got the win, pitching two innings.
"It was a hard-fought game went back and forth all day long," Woods said. "We had good approaches at the plate and ran the bases aggressively and smartly."
Woods said VanHouten and Caviness were "outstanding on the mound."
"Tyler Sanders, Conner Wiles, Austin Wolfe and Houston Garrich all made huge defensive plays in the final in nine to secure the victory," he said. "After that, we had a game break before we played Bradford again."
Woods said he was worried about the break because of his team's intensity and focus after the first game. 
"The boys maintained the same approach and focus in Game 1," he said. 
In the win over Bradford, VanHouten and Paxton Hitchings combined to throw a three-inning no-hitter. VanHouten pitched the first two innings. He struck out three, walking one. Hitchings pitched the third. He struck out two and walked one. 
The Bison scored eight runs in the bottom of the first and 13 in the bottom of the second. 
Clay Parker, VanHouten and Zach Caviness scored three runs each. Scoring twice were Wiles, Sanders, Garrich and Lewis. Also scoring runs were Caleb Parker, Mason Carter and Dylan Nichols.
The Bison had 12 hits in the victory. Wiles, Sanders, Lewis and Caviness had two hits each. Garrich, Wolfe, Carter and Nichols had one hit each.
"VanHouten and Hitchings had good performances on the mound," Woods said. "Severla guys had great days at the plate, including Sanders, Wiles, Leis and Caviness. I'm awfully proud of their effort and attitudes."
Woods said he hopes his team can build off the performance Saturday.
"We are hoping to maintain that approach going into next week against Mountain Pine and Mills before facing Clarendon in a conference doubleheader on April 1," he said. 

Carlisle's Mitch Lewis follows through on his swing against Bradford.