GARY | Early in the day the smell of the nearby mills permeated all of the northern Gary air.
By nightfall the mills were at a hum, the pleasant air was odorless and temperatures were in the low 60s.
Manufacturing was taking place at U.S. Steel and inside U.S. Steel Yard. Bishop Noll used station-to-station baseball, combined with various Lowell errors, to upend the Red Devils 9-5 Saturday night in the in the McDonald’s RailCats High School Challenge.
With a Division I player atop the lineup rather than nestled in its third or fourth slot, it’s clear that Bishop Noll isn’t waiting on three-run home runs for its victories.
With Indiana-bound table-setter Larry Crisler getting on base four of his five trips to the plate, Noll led early and maintained the lead with a combination of solid hits and the occasional sacrifice fly, RBI groundout, RBI fielder’s choice or errant pickoff throw.
Crisler led off the game reaching on an error and came in on a two-out error, followed by teammate Anthony Cobb (1-4, run, two RBIs). He added an RBI single in the fourth to put Noll up 4-1, singled and scored in the sixth as the Warriors (3-5) pulled away, then added an RBI double in the seventh for good measure.
The two errors in the first were harbingers of a devilish night for Lowell (2-4).
The Red Devils made defensive miscues that aided Noll’s offensive output in the third and sixth innings, and the Red Devils abbreviated some potentially huge innings with gaffes on the base paths.
Lowell had the bases loaded with no outs in the third, and one run came in on Jordan Hansen’s one-out sacrifice fly. However, an appeal to second base caught Lowell leaving early and ended the threat.
In the fifth Lowell loaded the bases with two out, but a pickoff play at second ended the inning without a run.
Nonetheless, Lowell pulled the score to within two at 5-3, but Noll’s three-run sixth, which began with Jaylen Yarbrough singling, proved to be too much to overcome.
Yarbrough was 3 for 4 with three runs scored.