Bob Kopp

BDR Sports Correspondent 

BELVIDERE – Belvidere North provided the thunder on a bone-chilling-rain-drenching Friday the 13th to sweep the season series over the Bucs.

Reminiscent of North’s convincing 12-2 win back on April 25, thunder roared again 9-3 for a convincing claim to Belvidere baseball bragging rights in 2016.

Supported by 13 hits, seven walks, and steady defense, David Rayphole was efficient on the mound over seven innings as he walked two and gave up only three hits with one strikeout for the complete game W.

Thunder struck in the bottom of the first with three consecutive hits by Jared Cantu, Marco Yates, and Lee Smith to take a 1-0 lead into the second.

The Bucs bounced back in the top of the second with a run on an opening double by Nico Reza who crossed home after Ryan Snyder’s sacrifice bunt and RBI flyout to deep right-center by Kyle Kozlowski.

With the score knotted 1-1 going into the bottom of the second, North immediately regained the lead 3-1 on a double by Austin Kroos, bunt single by Josh Pawlowski, groundout RBI by Yates, and RBI single by Smith.

North scored again in the bottom of the third on a single by Kyle Hauser who stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Garrett Nelson, and was knocked in on a ground-out by Kroos.

Ahead 4-1, the hosts put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fifth as Pawlowski singled, Cantu singled, and both scored on a single by Yates.  Then, Yates scored to stake North to a 7-1 lead with Kyle Perkins providing the lumber.

The Bucs pulled closer 7-3 in the top of the sixth after Josh Kugler was hit by a pitch, advanced to scoring position on a passed ball, and scored on a double by Anthony Cottichio.  Cottichio moved to third on a single by Reza and scored on a sacrifice flyout by Snyder.

Insurance runs for North came in the bottom of the 6th on a walk to Kroos, single by Cantu, and bases-clearing double by Yates.

Rayphole put the Bucs down in order in the top of the 7th for the 9-3 cross-town victory.

Kudos to head coaches Jeff Dobbertin of Belvidere North and Andrew Walters of the Belvidere for modeling mutual respect, exemplary sportsmanship, and positive support for the students in the increasingly fierce rivalry.

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