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June 13, 2021

5/28/2021 2:43:00 PM
North Branch gets revenge on CL under the lights

North Branch 4, Chisago Lakes 2
The Vikings scored twice in the top of the seventh on a hit batter, a walk, and three singles – two of which were fly balls that appeared to be lost in the lights – to beat the Wildcats in a thriller 4-2 Tuesday evening, May 18 at Chisago Lakes High School.  The Vikings and Wildcats split the season series, with the Wildcats winning 10-1 at North Branch High School exactly four weeks earlier.  Jordan Axberg went all the way for the Vikings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits.  He walked two and struck out three.  Ryan Sanvik took the loss for the Wildcats, allowing two unlucky earned runs on three hits.  He walked two, hit one and struck out two.  Wildcat starter Augie Brown went five innings.  He allowed just two hits and walked two.  But he hit five batters.

Nathan Zingerman led off the bottom of the first with a single to left.  One out later, Augie Brown singled to right and Zingerman want all the way to third.  Adam Brown hit a fly ball to short right field.  As Viking right fielder Adam Richards made the catch, Zingerman took off for home. Richards fired the ball home and Zingerman dove in, swiping his hand across the plate just before the tag of Viking catcher Gavin Jensen-Schneider to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.  In the top of the second, Jensen-Schneider singled and Devon Schulte entered as a courtesy runner.  Reed Jacobsen was hit by a pitch.  With two outs, Anthony Hartlieb reached on an error by Wildcat third baseman Reed Marquardt to load the bases.  On a 2-2 count, Nathan Skiba grounded out to Marquardt to end the inning.

In the bottom of the second, Marquardt singled to right with one out.  He went all the way to third on an attempted pickoff throw by catcher Jensen-Schneider.  With a 1-0 count, Marquardt took off for home in a suicide squeeze attempt, but batter Joe Graeve missed the ball and Marquardt was tagged out in a rundown.  Graeve flew out to right to end the inning.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Adam Brown hit a fly ball down the right field line about 100 feet beyond first base that looked like it might drop in for a hit.  But Viking right fielder Richards raced in, dove, and caught the ball right at the foul line for the first out.  Nick Wasko beat out an infield hit to short but was picked off first base.  Hunter Kral followed with a double to deep left center.  Mitch Torgerson pinch ran for Kral and scored on a single up the middle by Marquardt to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.   Jensen-Schneider threw out Marquardt trying to steal second to end the threat.

Augie Brown hit Vikings Hartlieb and Nathan Skiba to lead off the fop of the fifth.  Axberg’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up.  Andrew Orf hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Hartlieb and cut the Wildcat lead to 2-1.   Richards doubled to right to score Orf to tie the score at 2-2.   Jensen-Schneider singled through the hole between short and third.  Left fielder Graeve charged the ball and came up throwing, firing a bullet to catcher Wasko.  The throw was a little bit to the third base side of home.  Wasko caught the ball and reached back to tag Richards as he slid to the inside of the bag.  Richards was out by inches and the score stayed knotted at 2-2.

Augie Brown hit Isaiah Scarborough to open the top of the sixth and Sanvik entered in relief.  Sanvik walked Cole Palmer and Sam Robillard came in to pinch run for Isaiah Scarborough.  On a 1-2 count, Hartlieb took a curve ball right down the middle for the second out.  Nathan Skiba flew out to center to end the threat.

Adam Brown reached on an error by second baseman Cole Palmer in the bottom of the sixth.  Adam Brown was picked off first by Axberg and got caught in a rundown.  But nobody filled in behind first baseman Jacobsen as Adam Brown ran past him and stepped safely back to first.  Wasko fouled out to catcher Jensen-Schneider to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Andrew Orf walked on a very close 3-1 pitch.  Sanvik hit Richards – the Wildcats’ sixth hit batter of the game – to put runners on first and second.  Jensen-Schneider hit a hard ground ball between second and short that bounded into left field for a hit to load the bases.      Devon Schulte came in as a courtesy runner for Jensen-Schneider.  Isaiah Scarborough hit a fly ball to medium deep center field, likely deep enough to score the run.  Zingerman appeared to lose the ball in the lights and the ball dropped behind him for a single.  Orf scored, and the bases remained loaded.   Jacobsen followed with a fly ball to short right field.  Kral didn’t see it and the ball dropped next to him for a single, scoring Richards and leaving the bases loaded.  Cole Palmer struck out and Hartlieb grounded out to end the inning.  Kral stuck out to open the bottom of the seventh.  Marquardt drilled a ball to deep center field, but it hung up a bit and center fielder Hartlieb caught it for the second out.  Pinch-hitter Hackl popped out to short to end the game.

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