Trevyn Feasel, left, of North Union slides into second base on a steal against Graham on Monday. Feasel tallied two stolen bases and pitched a one-hitter during the Wildcats’ 5-1 win. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The early going for a young North Union baseball team has been learning experience.
The Wildcats have seemed to learn fast as they picked up their first win of the season Monday with a 5-1 victory over Central Buckeye Conference opponent Graham.
The Wildcats notched the win by sticking to the fundamentals of baseball – solid pitching and manufacturing runs – when the opportunity arises.
Coach Klarke Ransome said efficiency is how his team got their first “W” of the season.
“At times we are not going to be the most talented, so we are going to have to find ways to win” he said. “We’ve got to be extremely efficient and throw strikes, which we did today.”
Ransome tapped Trevyn Feasel, one of his two players with varsity experience, to take the mound against the Falcons.
Feasel has little to no pitching experience in his high school career, but that did not stop the senior from working a complete game and yielding just one hit.
Regardless of his experience on the bump, Ransome said he has confidence in his veteran player to throw strikes.
“He (Feasel) is one of the best competitors I have ever been around,” Ransome said. “When the lights come on, you know he is going to be ready to go.
“We gave him the ball and we rode him.
“As a senior, he stepped up in a big way.”
Graham’s only hit came from lead-off hitter Garrett Dunham, who drove a ball in the gap between shortstop and third base for a single.
Dunham worked his way around to third base before Feasel was able to work out of the inning unharmed.
Aaron Krebehenne plated NU’s first run in the bottom of the second inning when he reached first on an error.
That miscue later turned into the bases being loaded, thanks to a bunt single from Landon Converse.
Ethan Hoffer took the plate and launched a hit into the outfield for a sacrifice fly that moved the score to 1-0 after two innings.
The Wildcats scored in the third.
Feasel reached on an error and took second base with a swim move around a tag on a steal attempt.
He took third on a fielder’s choice.
Feasel scored after a throw down to third base by the catcher went for an error.
That gave NU a 2-0 lead after three innings.
Ransome said the young Cats have to make things happen on the base paths.
“We’ve got find ways to make runs,” he said. “We got bunts down, we put the ball in play and had a couple of big hits when we needed them.”
Graham took advantage of the one opportunity the Wildcats gave them when Ben Sells hit a roller to Hoffer at third base.
Hoffer overthrew first base, which allowed Sells to advance to second.
Sells eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center field to move the score to 2-1 at the end of the fourth inning.
Feasel continued his strong presence on the mound, setting the Falcons down in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Wildcats took a 5-1 lead in the sixth on an RBI double by Grayson Beeney.
Feasel earned his eighth strikeout in the top of the seventh.
He yieled a walk, but olid fielding by the infield ended the Falcons’ chance at a comeback.
Ransome said some of his players were putting too much pressure on themselves to get this first win.
Now that it’s happened, he hopes the team can keep the success going forward.
“I knew we would be fine and get it done, but with the lack of experience we have I’m sure a couple of guys were pressing to get that first win,” he said. “They were putting more pressure on themselves as opposed to leaning on each other, so getting that first win is big.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action Wednesday to close out their series with Graham.
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