North County earns its first win with strong contact | Baseball

GOOD EARTH — A five-hit streak created a four-run third inning Thursday as the North County baseball team sought its elusive first win of the season under new head coach Jake Donze.

Buoyed by a few timely double plays from his infielders, senior right-hander Isaac Easter overcame an early struggle with control to keep Potosi’s opposing formation at bay.

Shortstop and cleanup hitter Trenton Crepps hammered a solo home run while going 3-for-3 overall, and the Raiders won 5-2 over the Trojans in the season opener. MAAA Large-School.

North County (1-4, 1-0) spewed a six-point lead a day earlier in a loss to Union but avoided a similar fate after outscoring the Trojans.

Isaiah Arndt ended a 1-1 stalemate with a home run in the top of the third inning, but Potosi (3-5-1, 0-1) was held up by a collective 1-for-11 performance with runners in scoring position.

Easter went 6 2/3 innings despite having its first three batters of the game and eight overall. He got less than one on a full game and allowed two runs on just four hits.

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The Trojans loaded the bases with one out in the seventh after back-to-back walks and an error, but Easter fired his fifth and final strikeout against Arndt on his 107th pitch.

North County was then forced by the pitch count rule to change pitchers. Kooper Kekec inherited three runners and stoked Jay Pashia on a breaking ball for the stoppage.

A strong breeze carried towards the center field wall and Crepps connected deep left against Potosi starter Hunter Kincaid while leading the home half of the second inning.

Crepps finished with a team-high three RBIs, bolstered by a two-run brace in the pivotal third frame. Clayton Chandler added to the 4-2 advantage with an RBI single two batters later.

The rally started with one-out singles from Zane Huff and Kekec, who then stole bases, preceded by an RBI hit to left from Jobe Smith.

Kincaid regrouped to work a full game in the loss with nine hits allowed and no strikeouts or walks. He was also helped when Potosi performed a pair of unconventional double plays.

Shortstop Blayne Nixon erased an Easter single in the fourth after catching a line drive and doubling the adjacent courtesy runner. Cornermen Pashia and Blake Coleman traded solid shots through the diamond as Crepps tried to move two one-pitch forward in the sixth.

The Trojans walked five in the first two innings, but only managed a lone run when Nixon ran through the plate on Pashia pitch.

Ty Mills hit hard to charge the no-outs again in second, but first baseman Grant Mullins took a line drive and tagged the nearby runner on a lunge to lessen the threat.

Another premium opportunity slipped away from Potosi in the fourth after receiver Wyatt Knapp landed a deep center drive and landed a header triple.

Booba Henson walked and swept second base, but Mills lined up right fielder Landon Murphy after his missed bunt attempt resulted in a failed suicide squeeze for the first out.

Easter rounded two errors in the fifth when Kekec fielded a grounder and Michael Huff made the turn smooth for a double play between the pair.

Mullins was blocked after following Crepps homer with a brace to the center right in the second.

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