PORT CHARLOTTE — It was all about execution. North Port executed, Port Charlotte didn’t.
While the Bobcats made their plays, about everything that could go wrong did for Port Charlotte. Botched squeezes, rundowns and the inability to get the ball over the plate contributed to a 9-1 North Port victory Thursday in a non-district contest.
North Port (10-10) played nearly flawless ball as it turned two double plays, including one that ended a bases-loaded threat in the fifth inning.
Tyler O’Boyle pitched four innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts for his fifth win of the season. Brandon Muniz finished it off with three scoreless innings.
Logan Polston drove in three runs, Patrick Smith had two, and the Bobcats rapped 11 hits on the night.
“It helped that we came out and swung the bats and it came behind very solid pitching,” said North Port coach Dan Pavlue. “In baseball sometime luck is with you and sometimes it’s not. They key is to take advantage when luck is with you.”
With all that, the Pirates (11-8) made it even easier for the Bobcats. The top of the second was a comedy of errors for Port Charlotte, as two errors, two bobbles, two wild pitches from starter Mitcrell Derocher, making his first start of the year, and a nifty suicide squeeze by Polston resulted in three Bobcats runs and a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the inning with three straight hits to get them on the board. However, Jason James was caught between third and home on a botched suicide squeeze to shoot the rally in the ear, holding them to one run.
In the fourth, North Port loaded the bases with two out when a Dominic Lefever pop up was allowed to drop for a run. The Pirates were then unable to execute a rundown between third and home to keep the inning alive.
It proved costly. The Bobcats got a pair of bases loaded walks off Pirate reliever Devin Rack to make it 6-1.
North Port scored three more in the sixth, with a Polston two-run single highlighting the inning. Smith added an RBI single.
“We all went up with the mentality to be aggressive and hit the ball hard, and most of us did that and I was pleased by that,” Pavlue said.
Hunter Wilder, Matt Intahar and Jason James each had two hits for Port Charlotte, which had eight hits but couldn’t string them together for a rally.
It was a short and simple synopsis for Port Charlotte coach Rodney Taylor.
“Give it to North Port, they made the plays and we didn’t. Bottom line,” Taylor said.
NORTH PORT 9, PORT CHARLOTTE 1
North Port 030 301 0 — 9 11 2
Port Charlotte 010 000 0 — 1 8 2
WP: Tyler O’Boyle (5-1) LP: Mitchell Derocher (0-1). Top hitters: (NP) Logan Polston 1-2, run, 3 RBI; Patrick Smith 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs. Records: NP (10-10), PC (11-8).