4/20/2017 3:48:00 PM Vikings laid the early hammer on Hermantown and Cambridge
The North Branch baseball team got off to a rough 0-2 start to their season, with both being Mississippi 8 Conference losses.
But, they stepped out of the conference to take on Hermantown, and they were able to enjoy themselves at the plate and in the field.
North Branch 10, Hermantown 1 The Hawks opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning, but it didn’t take long for the Vikings to answer and tie the game in the bottom of the first inning.
After a stalemate in the second and third innings, the Vikings broke the game open with nine runs over the next three innings, nearly mercy-ruling Hermantown. The Vikings cranked out 15 hits in the game, including three by Nick Fairbanks, including two doubles, and two hits each from Clint Mattson, Brady Brodin, Dylan Ramberg and Dawson Linkert. Ramberg picked up three RBIs for North Branch and Zack Pilz had two. As a team, the Vikes knocked out five extra base hits.
Brodin and Nick Dufeck combined to throw a two-hitter against the Hawks, with Brodin doing a majority of the work in six innings. He struck out eight and allowed the one run on two hits. Dufeck posted a spotless seventh inning with one strikeout to finish the game.
Princeton 5, North Branch 1 Back in the conference, the Vikings dropped their third straight game with a 5-1 loss to Princeton.
Dufeck started the game but made it only three and one thirds inning before being chased after giving up four runs on five walks and seven hits.
Ramberg came in and was effective in relief, giving up only one unearned run in two and two thirds innings.
The lone RBI came from Brodin as the Vikings scattered only five base hits and one walk.
North Branch 9, Cambridge-Isanti 4 The Vikings got their first Mississippi 8 Conference win with another hit parade. They knocked out 15 hits and scored nine runs in a game that started out disastrously.
Dillyn Negley got the start for North Branch, but he went only two thirds of an inning while walking five and allowing three runs, although only one was earned due to an error.
Head Coach Steve Christensen brought Ramberg in for relief and he shut the Bluejackets down quickly after that, allowing only three hits and one run over the next six and one-third inning.
Meanwhile, the offense started to hum along early. They scored one in the first and third innings to trim the lead to one, and then the floodgates opened late, as they scored four runs in the fourth and three combined in the sixth and seventh.
The offensive onslaught was led by Zach Pilz’s three hits. Negley helped the comeback with two hits, a run and an RBI. Jared Kozar and Brodin each had two hits also.
Ryan Byrkit went only one-for-one at the plate, but he was a demon on the base paths when he got on through other routes, scoring three runs for North Branch. Linkert and Fairbanks each had two RBIs in the win.