LOUISVILLE – North Clay chased Windsor/Stew-Stras' Bryce Bugger from the game in the first inning after four walks led to an eight-run inning that set the tone for North Clay's 12-10 win on Wednesday.
Windsor/Stew-Stras head coach Mike Taylor replaced Bugger with Dylan Ohnesorge with zero outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning as North Clay capitalized for eight runs on two hits and six walks – 12 players batted in the inning.
The eight-run inning was a breakout for the Cardinals, following a tough top of the first when their pitcher Lawson Britton gave up three runs of his own.
Taylor said he'll continue to work with Bugger, despite taking him out of the game early, because Wednesday's game was an experiment to see who else could pitch besides their aceChristian Vonderheide.
“We've got to find guys other than Vonderheide that can throw strikes,” Taylor said. “A lot of these guys haven't had much experience on the mound.”
That was the case for North Clay's Britton, who was making his second high school start as a pitcher. Britton was pulled after two innings, but got the win for the night.
“It's something we're trying with him that's kind of a new thing because when spring comes around we're going to need some pitchers,” North Clay head coach John Frech said.
Windor/Stew-Stras' Ohnesorge settled the game down, retiring six consecutive batters before the fourth inning. He struck out the side in the second inning.
With an opportunity to cut into an 8-4 deficit in the third inning, Bugger led off with a single and Mark Jones advanced him to third base with a two-out base hit; however, Brandon Helmuth grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning.