BONNE TERRE — The North County baseball team will enter district play in the midst of an offensive slump after failing to produce a run for the second consecutive game on Thursday.
Freshman lefty Chase Urhahn pitched an efficient three-hit shutout with the help of errorless defense, and state-ranked Notre Dame rebounded from back-to-back losses this week for a 7-0 victory.
Justin Landewee finished 2-for-4 with two run scored from the leadoff spot for the Bulldogs (19-4), who capitalized on fielding miscues in the first inning to push four runs across the plate.
Urhahn protected the early lead by retiring the first batter in each of the first six innings. That streak was aided by a marvelous diving catch by right fielder Josh Haggerty in the second.
Garrett Coffman went 2-for-3 and Justin Ruby reached base three times on a double and two walks for the Raiders (10-9), who were limited to just one hit against Union on Wednesday.
North County starter Levi Moss yielded one earned run on four hits over five innings. His rocky opening frame began with two straight infield singles from Landewee and Jonathan Lynch.
Two Bulldogs scored when a slow roller to the right side was thrown away, as miscommunication along the infield left first base partially vacated.
Griffen Siebert followed with a fly ball to right-center that was misjudged, resulting in a two-run triple and 4-0 advantage.
North County put two runners on base in the third inning when Coffman singled behind a two-out walk to Kaleb Warden, but a soft liner to the shortstop ended the threat.
Urhahn needed only five pitches to navigate the fifth inning, then threw eight during a perfect sixth. He issued three walks and struck out six.
Landewee scored on a throwing error in the Notre Dame sixth, and pinch-hitters Cambron Womack and Stephen Brennan increased the 5-0 lead with consecutive triples in the seventh.
Second baseman Brad Bess was charged with two errors for North County, but also provided a defensive gem by diving across the right-field line to flag down a shallow flare in the fourth inning.
The Raiders will meet Poplar Bluff in the first round of the Class 4, District 1 tournament Saturday at VFW Stadium in Sikeston. The winner of that contest will draw top seed Farmington on Monday.
Notre Dame 400 001 2 – 7 8 0
North County 000 000 0 – 0 3 3
WP – Chase Urhahn 7ip 0r 0er 3h 6k 3bb.
LP – Levi Moss 5ip 4r 1er 4h 2k 3bb.
Notre Dame – Justin Landewee 2-4, Griffen Siebert 1-1, Cambron Womack 1-1, Stephen Brennan 1-1, Josh Haggerty 1-3, Jonathan Lynch 1-3, Cody Heisserer 1-4. 3b – Siebert, Womack, Brennan.
North County – Garrett Coffman 2-3, Justin Ruby 1-1. 2b – Ruby.