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North baseball turning the corner

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Mar 17, 2021

Blake Busbee of North Fort Myers squares to bunt in the first inning for a baseball game against Canterbury on Friday. CHUCK BALLARO


The North Fort Myers baseball team had its five-game winning streak snapped Friday, losing to unbeaten powerhouse Canterbury at Joey Cross Field.

The Red Knights are now 6 and 5, thanks to the painstaking patience of their coach and the excellent progressing play for their young team.

The week started great with easy victories at home against Riverdale where Logan Wilsker allowed just two hits in six innings in a 7-0 victory, and at Estero, where North blew a close game open late after Riley Reed struck out 13 through six innings.

Canterbury proved to be a tougher nut to crack.

The Red Knights fell behind 7-0 before making things a little closer late in the game, taking a 9-4 loss.

The Red Knights had its chances, stranding the bases loaded twice and leaving 13 runners on base despite seven hits, seven walks and three hit batsmen.

The Cougars (8-0) scored single runs in the second and third innings before blowing the game open with a five-run fourth, with a John Jobin two-run double proving the decisive blow as Canterbury lashed out 12 hits.

Evan Ames went 3 for 3 with two doubles and three RBI to lead the Cougars. Bryce Habuda, Austin Schrase and Jake O’Connell had two hits apiece.

Gavin Hause, Justin Corbitt and Wilsker had two hits for North.

North coach Mark Rose said in their five wins, the team executed in all phases of the game.

“After a slow start we changed our approach at the plate and started doing the job by doing the simple things like putting the ball in play, bringing in runners in scoring position and not striking out,” Rose said.

The players have learned the taste of victory, but they need to learn how to sustain it, Rose said, which is the biggest obstacle.

“It’s hard to break the losing habit. They need to know what it takes to be a winner. And that’s work ethic. You don’t want to feel failure, but we sunk back in the first when we didn’t score and sunk furth in the second when they went ahead,” Rose said.

North’s key players have been sophomore Garry Kamphouse (team-leading .357 and nine stolen bases) Hause (.344 average), Corbitt (.353).

Wilsker and Riley Reed have led the pitching corps so far this season.

“We were down in talent for years, but now, we’re getting that talent and the arms continue to grow and do well,” Rose said.