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South vs. North baseball: Rebels' strong fifth inning at plate, short-term memory leads to 6-4 rivalry win

Apr. 24—When South and North meet, the records get thrown out the window. The Rangers came into the April 24 contest having won four of their last five, while the Rebels had been shut out in four of their contests this season.

North took the lead in the fourth inning on the back of two runs but South responded in the bottom of the fifth with five runs. The Rebels added an insurance run in the sixth, but North plated two more and had the go-ahead run on first.

But two outs recorded by Niko Frizell, one of which was a throwout at home, ended the threat for a 6-4 Rebels win. South improved to 2-8 while North fell to 4-10.

Both sides needed time to get the bats going, as both were blanketed in the first three innings. North took the lead In the top of the fourth, with a Tyler Leasure single to shortstop and later scored on a pair of throwing errors.

Coach Brian Pellegrini had seen a similar script unfold in numerous Rebels games this season. But he was happy with how the team came out after giving up those runs.

"In a game like that, every time we play North it's going to be a good game," Pellegrini said. "It doesn't matter if one team is good and the other is off, it doesn't matter the sport. It was good to see us come out there and that was something we've been lacking all year, two out hitting and using the whole field. We're 10 games in and still trying to find our identity of who we are. I'm hoping that today is a stepping stone in that direction."

His players responded with a quick top of the fifth inning and then came to plate for the home half of the inning. The Rebels paired a pair of walks with a pair of pop-outs for two outs with Nick Barrus on at the plate.

He sent a line drive to right and scored Jack Schulte to get the Rebels on the board. That started the run for the Rebels.

Frizell, Mac Ruth and Aydan Collins all drove in runs and Rath scored on a passed ball to cap the five-run inning.

"At the end of the day it came down to our team clicking at the plate," Frizell said. "It's been the story for us all season, we've been hitting the ball but just right to people. We've had bursts and even yesterday against Kenston we had four hits and then went quiet. We have to be more selective on the base paths and our bats have time-to-time highlights."

Brody Namestnik added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. North had a chance to respond in the top of the seventh. Sean Register hit a single to center that made it a three-run deficit.

Barrus struck out the next batter for the first out but Gerardo Torres swung at the first pitch he saw in his at-bat and sent it deep to right. It bounced off of Frizell's glove and the runners advanced, with Teague heading for home.

But Frizell collected himself and threw the runner out at home for the second out. The Rebels have focused on having a short-term memory and continuing the play this season.

"It's a huge factor for this team, there's going to be a lot of downs but there's also going to be a lot of ups," Frizell said. "It's how we have to manage it. Baseball is a short-term memory game and a game where failures can cost you. It's about moving past those moments and getting to the next at-bat or the next inning."

That short-term memory was on display again as a Devin Nix walk loaded the bases and Braylon Rolf was hit by a pitch for a run that made it a two-run deficit. But Jacob Breen popped up to Frizell to end the contest.

Pellegrini has had a lot of young players compete for playing time this season, and it's been a lot of finding the patience and presence at the plate.

"I hope this is our turning point," Pellegrini said. "I hope it helps build confidence with our guys, a lot of these guys are all new varsity guys. A lot of them stepped up today as well and stayed within themselves with good at-bats and took advantage of two out hitting."

South takes a brief step out of WRC action with an April 25 tilt with Lakeside at home. North also heads out of conference when it hosts Geneva the same day.

THE SCORE

South 6, North 4