Northern Tier Sports Report
CANTON — For five and a half innings Canton and NEB were in a tight battle, but a 7-run sixth by the Warriors propelled them to a 10-2 win in NTL baseball action Thursday.

“The other night we played a long one with CV, and our guys stayed in it,” said Canton coach Ben Rubert. “They stayed in it all seven innings. I’m proud, we didn’t fall flat, be content with scoring three runs, so we bounced back.”

Holden Ward was strong in the win for the Warriors, going five innings to strike out nine with three walks, one hit, and one unearned run. Zach Colton finished out, allowing three hits and one earned run.

Rubert felt their work on defense was key to pulling out the win against an NEB team that had racked up 11 runs in their first two games.

“From day one all of our practices have focused on having a clean sheet with our defense, and doing a lot of defensive stuff the past couple days,” he said. “We’ll worry about our hitting later, (defense) saves pitches.”

Hitting wasn’t an issue on Thursday as they finished with six hits, five of them of the extra base variety.

Tuesday’s hero, Bailey Gardner, had another strong day, going 2-for-3 with a double, 2-RBI, and a run scored while Holden Ward (1-for-3) had a double with a run scored, and 2-RBI.

Ben Fitch (1-for-4) had a triple with a run scored, and an RBI, as Mason Harold (1-for-1) had a double with two runs scored, and two walks.

Cohen Landis (1-for-4) had 3-RBI with a run scored as Colton, Michael Beers, and Jason Mahosky all crossed home.

For the Panthers Gavin Puza (1-for-3) had a triple as Clay Wiggins (1-for-3) drove in a run. Dillon Donnelly (1-for-3), Ethan Hunsinger (1-for-3), and Eli Stanton (1-for-3) each had hits, with Stanton also scoring.

Josh Stanton scored, as well, and took the loss. He went the first two innings with two strikeouts, four walks, and one hit with two unearned runs.

Wiggins went the next 3 2/3-innings with five strikeouts, four walks, three hits, and seven runs, three of which were earned.

Kohen Hugo pitched the final third, allowing two hits and one earned run.

In the second Canton walked the bases loaded with one out, setting up Landis bringing in Beers on an error off his ground ball to make it 1-0.

After an out Harold would score on a passed ball for the 2-0 Canton lead.

NEB would get on the scoreboard in the fourth as an error off the bat of Hugo brought in Josh Stanton to make it 2-1.

Canton made it 3-1 in the bottom half of the inning as Harold led things off with a double. After two outs Canton got back to back walks to load the bases, setting up Harold scoring on a Gardner hit by pitch for the 2-run lead.

NEB had bases loaded in the fifth and runners in scoring position in the sixth but couldn’t get them across.

In the bottom half of the inning things unraveled for the Panthers as Holden Ward led off by getting hit by a pitch.

After an out he scored on a Gardner double for a 4-1 lead. Gardner then scored on an error off the bat of Colton to put the Warriors up by four runs.

Fitch would triple in Colton to make it 6-1 Canton. NEB got a second out, but after a walk and a hit by pitch Landis would double in Fitch and Harold for an 8-1 lead.

Holden Ward followed by driving in Mahosky and Landis on a double to put them up nine runs.

NEB would get one back in the top of the seventh on a 2-out Wiggins single that scored Eli Stanton for the 10-2 final.

NEB (2-1) will travel to Forest City on Saturday with a 1 p.m. start while Canton (3-0) hosts South Williamsport Monday.

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