Norwood hurls Wolverines into 3A North finals

NETTLETON – An early four-run cushion was more than enough for Carson Norwood.

The senior sidearmer tossed six shutout innings, and East Webster cruised past Nettleton 13-0 on Monday night to sweep their Class 3A quarterfinal baseball series.

The Wolverines (26-3) will face Mooreville in the North finals.

Norwood allowed just two hits on the night and faced very little trouble. Nettleton (15-14) had five baserunners and stranded all of them.

“He’s done it pretty much all year. We know what we’re going to get when we put him out there,” East Webster coach Blake Hutchinson said. “He’s our guy, and he’s really good.”

East Webster gave Norwood a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Stetson Perkins made it 5-0 in the fourth when he hit a bloop double, kept motoring toward an unmanned third base, and then came home on a throwing error on the play.

Four more runs in the sixth made it a 9-0 game, and East Webster tacked on another four in the seventh for good measure. The Wolverines finished the night with 10 hits, and the entire lineup was productive. Perkins, Kooper Shook and Cade Morrow led the way with two hits apiece.

“That’s one thing that we preached all week was getting off to a fast start, because I knew it was going to be a hostile environment if it was a close game,” Hutchinson said. “Just preached taking it out of everybody else’s hands, and you control what you can control, and I thought we did that.”

Norwood’s only spot of trouble came in the fifth, when Nettleton put two on with two outs. He escaped by getting a swinging strike three on a 3-2 pitch. It was one of nine strikeouts for Norwood.

“I just don’t let it get to my head. Even if I’m not doing great, I just keep pushing through. I try to get out of it so I don’t have to put the weight on my teammates,” he said.

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Kaleb Warnock had an RBI infield single to open the game’s scoring. Norwood then had a sac fly RBI, and both Shook and Morrow stroked run-scoring singles.

Big Stat: Nettleton committed six errors.

Coach Speak: “I don’t think many people put us at this point in the year, in the third round, with only four seniors. We’ve got a lot coming back, and we’re excited about the future.” – Nettleton first-year coach Brian Rea