ELY- While the North Woods baseball team could claim to be the more experienced team going into Friday’s road game against Ely, it wasn’t by much. It was the Timberwolves’ first …
ELY- While the North Woods baseball team could claim to be the more experienced team going into Friday’s road game against Ely, it wasn’t by much. It was the Timberwolves’ first game of the season, and while the Grizzlies had a two-week head start on them, they only had one game to show for it, thanks to bad weather.
But North Woods took command immediately with a four-run spree in the first inning and rode a devastating 10-run fourth-inning blitz to an easy 19-3 victory.
Zach Cheney went 3-for-4 at the plate with a homer and four RBIs as nine Grizzlies batters hammered hits on the day.
“Our bats were alive,” North Woods Head Coach Jeff Smerud said. “We ended up with 16 total hits. You don’t usually get to see that many in a game, but I’ll definitely take it.”
Andrew Zika went the whole way on the mound for North Woods in the ten run-rule-shortened game, scattering seven hits across five inning while striking out eight Ely batters.
“He threw a lot of first pitch strikes, which is huge, and he stayed ahead of the hitters pretty much the whole game,” Grizzlies Head Coach Jeff Smerud said. “He kept them off balance with his curveball and changeup. Coming out and getting a four-run lead I think helped a little. Andrew gave up a three-run home run in the bottom of the first, and then after that he settled in and put zeros on the board the rest of the way.”
Smerud also praised the defensive play behind Zika.
“We only made one error, which was huge,” Smerud said. “Our goal every game is to have under three errors.”
The Timberwolves’ Jacob Towley rapped Ely’s homer in the losing cause. Hurler Bryce Fairchild took the loss, with Eddie Prijatel, Mason Davis, and Towley taking turns trying to silence the North Woods bats.