Baseball: Plainfield North rallies past Plainfield South
Updated: April 18, 2012 8:38PM
Plainfield North coach John Darlington smiled and said, “I’m the dummy. He should have been in the lineup earlier.”
He was referring to senior third baseman/relief pitcher Kyle Bledsoe, who recently joined the regular lineup and continued his hot hitting Wednesday to lead the No. 4 Tigers to an 8-5 come-from-behind victory over Plainfield South.
Plainfield North (16-1, 7-1) is 2-0 in the huge Southwest Prairie series. Plainfield South (12-7, 5-3) was devastated by Bledsoe, who went 3-for-4 with the tiebreaking home run and five RBI, and senior Caleb Kissel (2-for-3, 2 RBI).
“The first one in my life,” Bledsoe said of his two-run homer off South senior right-hander Julian Clouse (5-1) that capped a three-run fifth and put the Tigers on top 5-3. “It was a big spot and I wanted to put it in play. I knew I had it all, at least all I had.”
“That Bledsoe kid is killing us,” South coach Phil Bodine said. “He is having a tremendous series.”
Bledsoe said he did not bat the first 11 games, when relief pitching was his gig. Then he began to DH before landing the third-base job.
“Our 6 and 7 hitters (Kissel and Bledsoe) hit last night, too,” said North coach Dan Darlington, whose team outhit the Cougars 12-10. The Tigers trailed 2-0 Tuesday before rallying to win 5-2, and they were down 3-0 midway through the second inning Wednesday.
“Our team has fight,” Bledsoe noted.
The comeback made a winner of junior right-hander Brendan Miller (5-0). Clouse and Miller both entered with ERAs under 1.00.
To cap his big day, Bledsoe delivered a two-run single in North’s three-run sixth and pitched the final two innings. He experienced uncharacteristic wildness in the seventh, when South scored twice to get to within 8-5 and had the go-ahead run at the plate.
“The adrenaline was running high,” Bledsoe explained. “I don’t usually hit guys and I hit two of them.”
John McNulty, Tyler Butler, Rick Salazar and John Smith had two hits for South. Matt Fenza also had two for North.