Sports

April 11, 2013

Area prep roundup: Bruins pull away, tighten grip on sub-region lead

When a high school baseball squad can turn three double plays in the first three innings of a high-profile game, it says a lot for that program’s team play.

That was what happened as Northwest Whitfield took a giant step Wednesday night toward the Sub-region 7B-4A championship by defeating host Dalton for the second straight night, winning 11-5. The Bruins beat the Catamounts 12-2 on Tuesday at Northwest’s Richard S. Chumley Field in a game limited to five innings by the run rule.

Both teams entered this week’s three-game series undefeated in league play, but Northwest (16-3) is now 11-0 in Sub-region 7B-4A, while Dalton (10-8) is 9-2.

The two teams meet again at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Tunnel Hill.

Northwest’s pitching and hitting have been solid in the series, but defense was also in the spotlight Wednesday.

Northwest senior second baseman Brady Middleton — one of three Bruins to collect two hits in the team’s 12-hit output — said he’s been working together with shortstop Diego Peralta since the seventh grade.

Despite his hitting prowess, Middleton said, “I probably expect more on defense. I never expect to make an error.”

Northwest, which had a fourth double play in the seventh frame, committed only one error. Dalton was charged with five miscues, all coming in the last four innings.

“The first thing we do every day at practice is to take ground balls,” said Bruins coach Todd Middleton, Brady’s father. “There’s no telling how many ground balls we take in a week.”

The coach hardly could have been any happier about the victory.

“Winning the series certainly was big,” he said. “We executed well. We had good hitting and good pitching for the most part.”

On Wednesday, that execution included three sacrifice bunts and two sacrifice flies.

Andy Whisenant, who started the game in left field but pitched the final five innings in relief of Wade Terrell, got the win.

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