Northern Tier Sports Report
CANTON — Canton hung with District IV power South Williamsport Monday, but had too many self inflicted errors to get the win, falling 8-5 in non-league baseball action.

“We showed some grit, some mental toughness not to just give in,” said Canton coach Ben Rubert. “We just made some boo-boos and it cost us.”

The Warriors had five errors in the game, with two pick-off attempts at first that went sideways and lead to two South runs. After taking a 2-0 lead Canton went down by as much as 8-2 before rallying to cut it to 8-5.

They had two runners on in the bottom of the seventh with the tying run at the plate, but South got the strikeout to end the game.

One bright spot was Zach Colton, who came in for four innings of relief. He allowed three hits, two runs - one of which was earned - with two walks and two strikeouts.

“I’ve had a lot of confidence in Zach so far this year but now I feel even better about going to him late in the game,” remarked Rubert.

Colton also had the big hit to get them back in it, a 3-run double in the fifth. He finished 1-for-4 on the day with Hudson Ward (2-for-4) getting a double with an RBI and a run scored.

Ben Fitch (1-for-3) also had a double as Bailey Garner (1-for-3) scored a run. Holden Ward scored twice with Cohen Landis also crossing home, while having the defensive play of the night when he bare handed a hard hit ground ball that took a bad hop, then threw to first for the out.

“We didn’t hit well today, top to bottom,” said Rubert. 

Canton struck out 11 times in the contest it didn’t get much going between the first and fifth innings.

Hudson Ward got the start, and took the loss, going two innings with four strikeouts, one walk, three hits, and three runs, one of which was earned.

Holden Ward pitched an inning with five walks, no hits, and three earned runs.

Kaden Shay got the win for South, going four innings with two walks, two hits, two runs, one of which was earned, with eight strikeouts.

Kaiser Kistner came on in relief for the final three innings, striking out three with three walks, three hits, and three runs, two of which were earned.

Shay also had the best day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Canton started strong, as Holden Ward led off with a walk, followed by Hudson Ward driving him in with a double. After two outs were made Hudson Ward scored on a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.

South rallied in the top of the second as their first two batters reached. After an out they got Caleb Neidig to score on a dropped third strike, then Luke Stoetzel scored on a single from freshman Camden Hannan - the first hit of his career.

After a strikeout it looked like Canton would get out of the inning, but another hit scored Marc Molina. The Warriors did get Hannan out at home on the play to get out of the jam.

The Mounties added three more runs in the third as Kistner walked, then took home after two throwing errors on a pick-off attempt at first gone wrong. Tadd Lusk later scored on a passed ball for a 5-2 lead.

Their final run came on a safety squeeze by Molina that scored Stoetzel for the 4-run lead.

South added another run in the fourth and fifth innings to go up 8-2.

Just as it looked like the game was over Canton rallied in the fifth as Landis led off with a walk. Holden Ward then reached on an error, with Hudson Ward moving both of them over on a ground out.

A Gardner walk loaded the bases, setting up Colton’s 3-run double over the center fielder’s head. Landis and Holden Ward scored on the hit, with Gardner coming in on an errant throw.

Canton had a chance to tie things up in the seventh as Gardner had a 1-out single, followed by Fitch hitting a 2-out double. Kistner, though, got the strikeout on three straight pitches to end the game.

South stays undefeated at 4-0 and will look to be in the hunt for the District IV, Class AA title again this season. Canton (3-1), who hosts Williamson Friday, sees this as a good early test.

“It’s a gut check,” Rubert said. “We made some boo-boos, and it cost us, but we know we’re going to have to play them in districts, so we’ve got to step up our game.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Canton’s Zach Colton makes contact…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING

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