|5/20/2022 11:53:00 AM|
Up and down week breaks Vikings' four game win streak
Monticello 8, North Branch 4
Riding a four game winning streak, North Branch was locked in a pitcher’s duel with the Monticello Magic on Tuesday, May 10 before a massive sixth inning from Monti blew the game open and ended NB’s hot run.
Hunter Peterson started for the Vikings, and he gave them five strong innings, only allowing two hits and two runs. The problem was, Monticello’s Cal Ulven was just as effective, and the game was tied just 1-1 after five innings.
North Branch went down quietly again in the sixth inning, and after Peterson gave up a few hits and walks to start the bottom of the sixth, NB Head Coach Steve Christensen brought in relief pitcher Austin Darwin to stop the bleeding.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t Darwin’s day. He gave up six hits and six runs in just one inning of work, and that gave Monticello an 8-1 lead with just the seventh frame left.
The Vikings did get some life when they got to relief pitcher Luke Branson. Isaiah Scarborough and Jaxon Johnson each scrapped together RBI producing plays, with Johnson knocking in two with a single and Scarborough one with a fielder’s choice.
But, the threat was eventually quelled by Branson, and Monticello wrapped up the 8-4 Mississippi 8 Conference victory.
North Branch 6, Big Lake 2
The Vikings got back to their winning ways with a pitching gem from Noah Thorsen and multi hit games from Andrew Orf and Cole Olson, and timely hitting form the rest of the lineup.
Thorsen got the nod on the mound, and the sophomore went six solid innings, scattering seven hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts.
On offense, the Vikings got one run in the first, a crooked four in the fifth inning and added one more insurance run in the sixth just after Big Lake had cut the lead to three at 5-2.
Orf went two-for-three with two RBIs and a run, Cole Olson went a perfect three-for-three and Scarborough, Reed Jacobsen and Darwin had RBIs for the Vikings.
Thorsen helped himself out, going one-for-three with one walk and two runs. Both Scarborough and Orf had stolen bases for the Vikings as well.
Loghan Croal pitched out of a little jam in the seventh inning after allowing a hit and a walk. But he struck out a Hornet batter and goaded the other two into easy outs.
Grand Rapids 11, North Branch 6
Relief pitching did the Vikings in again in their matchup against section favorite Grand Rapids.
The teams were tied 6-6 going into the seventh inning, but the Thunderhawks scored five runs, and North Branch just didn’t have an answer in the bottom of the frame.
Orf started the game for the Vikings and danced around danger most of the contest. He allowed seven runs, but only four were earned. But, the Thunderhawks had belted out 12 hits in six and one-third innings, so there was plenty of danger on the basepaths. Orf worked out of many jams by getting nine punchouts for NB.
Orf, Johnson, Croal and Nate Skiba all had multiple hits for NB. Orf went three-for-three with one walk and one run, Croal was three-for-four with two RBIs, Johnson was two-for-three with one walk, two runs and two RBIs and Skiba was two-for-four with a run. Scarborough went one-for-two with one walk and one run and Jacobsen, Nathan Franklin and Thorsen all had a hit for the Vikings.
The 14 hits were a season high for the Vikings, but they did leave some men in scoring position only putting up six runs.
The Vikes had three games in three days this week against Princeton, Cambridge-Isanti and Big Lake, before getting a short rest.