For The Tribune

COLUMBUS

It was a pitchers duel early on between Seymour’s Satoshi Hirose and Columbus North’s Parker Maddox, as it seemed liked they were both going to be pitching perfect games.

Hirose, however, gave the Bull Dogs a very small window of opportunity: and North capitalized.

In the bottom of the third inning, North’s Jeremias Dela Cruz singled with one out.

After a sacrifice by Grant Trinkle moved Cruz to third, Tyler Finke capped it off with an RBI single to send the Owls home with a 1-0 loss.

Despite the loss, Hirose had a great game pitching only giving up three hits in the game, while striking out three batters.

Maddox was just as impressive striking out eight and surrendering only three hits.

“We had a couple of really nice opportunities late that we did not come through on,” Owls coach Jeremy Richey said. “(Columbus North) just came up with a two out hit and that was the big thing that we did not come up with, but I’m very proud of our guys.

I was proud of the approach and we went up there and we were aggressive. We’re not going to get frustrated with results at this point in the season.”

The best chance for the Owls (2-1) to tie the game came in the sixth inning.

Alan Perry led off with a single and stole second base. A sacrifice by Hirose moved Perry to third.

Luis Munoz walked to put runners on the corners. Munoz came up with a heads up play to steal second when North wasn’t paying attention at the baserunners.

Maddox, however, retired the next two batters to end the threat.

In the seventh inning, Tiller Cummings singled with two outs, but Maddox ended up recording the final strikeout to end the game.

“I love this team. I love their attitude and I love their effort and energy,” Richey said. “Every day that they show up, they have done that for us. If we can continue to be good at those three things, we are going to have a very successful season.”

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James Pence is a sports correspondent for The Republic.