NIWOT — Scuffling a bit at the plate to start the season, Niwot's Ford Ladd was in desperate need of a multi-hit game on Tuesday.
The Cougars senior got his wish.
Pacing the Cougars lineup throughout a 8-6 win over Centaurus at home, Ladd went 3 for 4 at the plate and raised his average from .118 to .238. He also chipped in four RBIs for the Cougars.
"I have not been hitting well, not seeing the ball and swinging through fastballs," Ladd said. "But I've been working with the coaches and I think we've fixed it."
While Ladd had an outstanding day at the plate, the Cougars (3-4, 2-1 Northern) committed four errors and had to overcome a few other issues against the Warriors (2-4, 0-3 Northern) on a windy afternoon.
The Cougars finally broke through against Warriors starter Brooks MacDonald with a three-run third inning. Jake Sims doubled and scored on a fielder's choice play one batter later. First baseman Ladd capped the big frame with a line-drive single that scored Hunter Stephens and Skyler Messinger.
Ladd drove in two more runs during a four-run fifth.
The Warriors, however, cut the Cougars' lead to two runs when they scored four runs in the sixth inning. In that inning, the Warriors had just one hit while the Cougars hit three batters, walked another and committed an error in the field. The Warriors threatened to tie the game with two runners on in the top of the seventh inning before second baseman Anthony Losasso lined into a game-ending double play.
"I'm glad it's over," Ladd said. "It's a little cold, we're on spring break and we weren't very focused today. We struggled in the beginning but we got it together and started to string some hits together. Skye did great. We lost it a little bit there in the sixth but we got it back enough to get the win."
The Warriors left nine runners on base in the game.
"That's exactly it, we left a ton of runners out there," Warriors head coach Mark Gonzales said. "We had our chances early to get more than a 1-0 lead but good teams are going to capitalize on that stuff when you don't make the plays. They scored, they drove runners in and we just dug ourselves too big of a hole early."
The Cougars will play at Mountain View (4-0, 2-0 Northern) on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the Warriors will host league-leading Northridge (6-1, 2-0 Northern).
Niwot 8, Centaurus 6
At Niwot H.S.
Centaurus (2-4, 0-3) 010 004 1 — 6 8 2
Niwot (3-4, 2-1) 003 041 0 — 8 11 4
W — Messinger. L — MacDonald. SV — Stephens.
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Manuel Gonzales 3-1-1-1, Balin Jessip 2-0-1-1, Eric Gambon 4-0-1-0, Joe Milano 4-0-0-0, Brandon Larson 3-1-0-0, Trevor Erickson 3-1-2-0, Mitch Koch 4-0-1-0, Lucas DiSabato 3-1-2-1, Anthony Losasso 4-1-0-0, Chris Varga 0-1-0-0. Totals 30-6-8-3. SB — DiSabato.
Niwot hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Joe Wilson 3-1-2-1, Hunter Stephens 3-2-0-1, Skyler Messinger 4-2-3-1, Ford Ladd 4-0-3-4, Tyler Meek 3-1-0-0, Christian Cloar 3-0-1-0, Michael Agado 1-0-0-1, Romey Clement 3-0-0-0, Jake Sims 3-2-2-0. Totals 27-8-11-8. 2B — Sims 2, Cloar, Messinger. SB — Messinger.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brooks MacDonald 4.1-8-7-5-1-2, Nick Titus 1.2-3-1-1-0-0.
Niwot pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Skyler Messinger 5.2-6-5-3-2-6, 1.1-2-1-0-0-1.