HAMMOND | One of things that differentiates Cal Ripken baseball from Little League is how pitchers are monitored.
Little League has imposed pitch-count limits; Cal Ripken goes by innings pitched.
An example of the latter allows pitchers a maximum of six innings in back-to-back games. Thus, if someone throws two innings in the former, he is allowed four innings in the latter.
When Crown Point coach Bob Bauner made a visit to the press box after his Bulldogs blew out El Dorado, Ark., 12-0 in four innings during Sunday's pool-play round, he was verifying the crucial innings count.
"We keep track of it ourselves, but I wanted to make sure we got it right," Bauner said, "or that they got it right."
Bauner took advantage of his team scoring 12 runs after the top of the third against El Dorado and pulled Nick Geisen after throwing just two innings.
That left Geisen four innings for Monday's Game 14 pool-play game against the talented Honolulu Saints.
It all was going as planned as Geisen cruised through the first three innings while striking out six and yielding one hit.
With home runs by Geisen himself and lead-off hitter Marek Bauner and Jake Schalsky, Crown Point took a 4-0 lead after two.
The Saints later tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth after Geisen departed, but the Bulldogs went on to score an unearned run in the latter half of the frame before Kyle Bauner's two-out bases-loaded single added a pair of insurance runs before reliever Logan Ryan closed the door in the sixth.
Crown Point is now 3-0 and faces another 3-0 pool-play team at 5:30 p.m. today — South Lexington, Ken.
A lot is at stake — a National Division first-place, first-round bye in the single-elimination bracket round starting Wednesday.
"We'll have a good idea where we stand after we face South Lexington," Bob Bauner said.