SOLON — Few things went wrong as Northeast won a pair of games en route to winning the school’s first baseball district title last week. They scored first each time, had the momentum early, got two great pitching outings from Cole Dickey and scored runs against two of the premier right-handed pitchers in Iowa.
Few things went right for the Rebels on Tuesday night, though, with a berth in the state tournament on the line.
Their bats were shut down by a left-hander, Mount Vernon made the plays and got the bounces, none of the four Northeast pitchers could contain the Mustangs and an early deficit turned into an insurmountable gap in the second inning.
“They did the little things right — from baserunning to bunting to two-strike approach,” Northeast coach Tyler Howe said. “They executed on all aspects very well. They played the game hard, and it was their night.”
But, the Rebels still went away from the 10-0, six-inning loss in the Class 2A Substate 5 final knowing that season had plenty of positives despite the disappointing end.
“We made history this year,” Northeast junior center fielder Charlie Marcucci said. “Nobody ever has been district champions in school history at Northeast. We’re very proud of what we did this year. Of course, we wanted to get to state, but nobody will ever be able to take that away from us.
“No one has ever done what we did. We are the last Big East Conference champions ever. The Big East ends this year. We did a lot of good things this year, and we can’t hang our heads about it.”
Marcucci, the lone left-handed hitter in Northeast’s lineup, was the only Rebel who had much success against Mount Vernon left-handed pitcher Adam Ketelsen, a freshmen. Marcucci had two of Northeast’s three hits and was robbed of another one when Mustangs left fielder Luke Hansen laid out to catch Marcucci’s sinking line drive to end the third inning.