CALUMET CITY | They say a hits as good as a walk in baseball, that was certainly the story Saturday as T.F. North took advantage of three walks and three hit batters on its way to a10-2 win over Thornton on Saturday.
The Meteors scored seven times in the first inning and that was all the offense the Meteors (3-6) would need as sophomore starter Misael Morales held the Wildcats (1-7) to one hit and one earned run while striking out 12 over seven innings for the 10-2 win.
“My coaches just kept telling me to keep the ball down and throw strikes,” Morales said. “The game moves a lot faster on varsity, you have to hurry more when the ball is in play but its way easier to adjust when you have a big lead.”
As good as Morales pitched, his day could have been even better if not for five errors that prevented the Meteors from getting the shutout.
“We’ve been working with him because we want him (Morales) in the lineup,” T.F. North coach Mike Kosiara said. “He pitched a nice game today. If not for those five or six errors ... we have to play better fundamental baseball.”
Despite plating 10 runs, the Meteors bats were cold for the second game in a row as they only managed to get one hit off Thornton starter Preston Mays.
Mayes started the day hitting three of the first four batters he faced. He then walked the next three to open the door for the big first inning.
T.F. North took advantage of each mistake with patience at the plate and aggressive base running taking every opportunity to move runners over and getting three steals on the day.
Mays settled down after the shaky start retiring eight of the next nine batters he faced and giving his team an opportunity to come back.
“Preston is new to pitching but he has some good stuff which you could see after the first inning,” Thornton coach Nick Tarala said. “We still have a long way to go but the kids are getting opportunities and they are working hard.”
The Wildcats got one run back in the third and were threatening in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded and one out, but Morales closed the door on a possible rally striking out the next two batters on six pitches.
“The coaches kept saying all day to just throw strikes,” Morales said. “But I was looking to get the strikeouts in that situation.”
Thornton scored once more in the seventh to cut the lead to 10 -2, but Morales put an exclamation point on his first varsity win striking out Cody Bell to end the game.
“We’re in a funk hitting the ball right now,” Kosiara said. “We have four conference games next week and we have to hit better than we are. Most of these guys have experience so I hope they can make adjustments and come around by then.