Baseball’s a team sport, but this win could be considered Micah Vessely’s in addition to Greenwood’s.
The junior pitcher stymied the Bloomington North hitters in throwing six no-hit innings. Teammate and fellow junior Logan Connor came in to mop up in the seventh, and preserved the no-no as the Woodmen shocked the Cougars, 3-1, in the opening round of the Class 4A Mooresville Sectional on Wednesday.
Greenwood now takes on Martinsville, a 2-0 winner over the host Pioneers, in a Monday morning semifinal.
It was also Vessely that provided the big hit for the Woodmen in the sixth inning. With the score tied 1-1 and runners on second and third, Vessely swung and blooped an opposite-field single down the first-base line, scoring both Landen Smith and Cade Kelly for the winning runs.
On paper, this may have been considered an upset at North came in with 20 wins. Don’t tell that, though, to Greenwood coach Andy Bass.
“We saw some things on social media this week — ‘let’s go upset people,” Bass said. “We preached to our kids that people better not overlook us because we can hit, we can play and we can do things.
I feel we can play with anyone, so I don’t consider this an upset.”
For five innings, it was a classic pitcher’s duel between Vessely and North’s Caden McCoy.
McCoy was equal to the task of Vessely, giving up only two hits prior to the sixth.
It looked like it was going to be much the same in the sixth, but here Vessely ran into some trouble with a tinge of wildness that he attributed to fatigue.
Vessely walked three Cougars and hit another to help North score its lone run.
“I was getting tired out there,” Vessely said. “I had control of my pitches and felt good ‘til then. It was great to win, and I appreciate all my guys. They all made the plays.”
Even with a 1-0 lead, the sixth inning turned out to be North’s worst, too.
McCoy had been in control but gave up four singles — an infield hit to Ethan King, followed by Smith, Kelly and of course the game-winner by Vessely.
King and Smith led the Woodmen with two hits each.
“We had timely hitting when we needed it,” Bass said. “We responded with crucial hits.”
Entering the game, the Woodmen had been on a bit of a roll, winning three of their past four games. They kept it rolling and raised their record above the .500 mark to 15-14, guaranteeing a non-losing season.
Bloomington North, which had won seven of eight coming in, ends its season at 20-6.
If this game was any indication of what the entire Mooresville Sectional is going to be like, then high school baseball fans are in for some entertainment.
“It was a great win,” Bass said. “I’m just proud of the guys.”