GARY | Kyle Erickson said he thrives in the cold.
Lucky for the Boone Grove relief pitcher that Saturday's wind chill at U.S. Steel Yard was at 34 when he took the mound in the fifth inning.
Erickson came in as the bases were loaded with Michigan City baserunners and allowed just one run in earning a save as Boone Grove won 5-3 in the RailCats High School Challenge game.
"I pitch so much better in the cold," Erickson said. "When I come in, I'm just trying to throw strikes. In the cold, I don't get tired as much."
Michigan City hadn't played in more than a week, sitting through eight days of washed-out games. Boone Grove started two different games this week that were rained out after the teams had already arrived to play.
Boone Grove made a lineup change, shuffling the top of the order which in turn helped the bottom of the order show some pop. Of their seven hits three came from players in new positions in the batting order, and two came from No. 8 hitter Casey Grubb.
"We haven't been hitting as well as we could," Boone Grove coach Rollie Thill said. "We made a few adjustments and that really worked out well."
Michigan City showed little rust early, scoring first in the second inning. Boone Grove (8-1) tied the game in the third, then took advantage of a plethora of Michigan City errors in the fourth inning for a 4-1 lead. Boone broke the tie with three unearned runs, including the go-ahead run allowed on a bases-loaded walk.
Michigan City (4-4) mounted its rally in the fifth, chasing starter Dean Hill, who took the win striking out five. Michigan City had back-to-back-to-back hits that scored a run.
"We've been sitting for so long," Michigan City coach David Ortiz said. "You know how you get antsy for those first couple of games, that's how we're feeling again. We've been sitting eight days and we're trying to get into a rhythm."