April 30, 2004 at 10:43 a.m.
Wildcats sneak past Vikings
North Branch 1
Based on the results, Jake Anderson wasn’t interested in all of the offensive hype the Wildcats were bringing into the game. He wasn’t interested in how many runs they had scored over their past four games. He wasn’t interested in any of it. It showed. In short, the senior pitcher from North Branch was sensational last Thursday against Chisago Lakes.
Anderson kept the ‘Cats guessing the entire game, going the distance while striking out four. As a matter of fact, he only made two mistakes. Unfortunately for the Vikings and fortunately for the Wildcats, those mistakes were enough to make the difference in a 2-1 Chisago win.
They came late. Up until the sixth inning, both teams were shut down at the plate. While Anderson’s curveball was holding the ‘Cats at bay, Matt Stomberg was mowing down the Vikings. Stomberg struck out three in the first, two in the second, one in the fourth and one in the sixth, allowing only five hits in the process. In the first, North Branch had runners on second and third before Stomberg pitched himself out of the jam, striking out back-to-back hitters.
“I told the kids that the game was going to be close,” said Pat Collins, Chisago Lakes head baseball coach. “Troy’s (Troy Walker, North Branch head baseball coach) got everybody back. I told our kids that this was a lot better North Branch team than they have seen in the past. Troy really has them going in the right direction.”
In the sixth, one pitch broke open the scoring; hence mistake number one. Leading off the top of the sixth, Danny Reed put the Wildcats on the board with a towering home run, putting Chisago in front.
Looking to answer, the Vikings did just that in the bottom of the sixth. With with a runner at second, Matt Fletcher connected for a double, plating Nick Aaland, tying the game 1-1.
The tie didn’t last long. In the top of the seventh, mistake number two was to Mark Unger whose double brought in Todd Froberg from second for the game-winning run. Despite a Chisago error in the bottom of the seventh, the Vikings bid to tie things up came up short, falling 2-1.
“The home run by Danny was huge for us and Mark Unger hit a huge double,” replied Collins. “There just isn’t a weak spot in our line-up right now. Jake pitched great. His curveball was working, it really kept our guys off balance. You have to tip your cap to him. The old saying is right on, good pitching always beats good pitching, but our kids are patient. Eventually, you knew that they were going to start getting some hits. I knew the game would be close, I just didn’t want it to be that close.”
“Jake pitched great,” said Troy Walker, North Branch head baseball coach. “Overall, I thought as a team we played well, we just couldn’t get the big hits again. We had our chances but we couldn’t get it done.
“Even though we lost, I think it showed our guys that we can play with them,” continued Walker. “I don’t think the kids played that well all of last year so it was good. Everyone always wants to win but it shows we’re making progress.”
Chisago banged out five hits in the game, coming from five different players. As for North Branch, Anderson was the only Viking with more than one hit. With the win, Stomberg improved to 2-1 on the season. Meanwhile, Anderson fell to 0-2.
Chisago Lakes 2, North Branch 1
R H E
Chisago Lakes 000 001 1 2 8 0
North Branch 000 001 0 1 7 2
Unger 1-4, RBI, 2B
Reed 1-3, HR, RBI, R
Der. Olson 0-3
Froberg 0-2, BB
WP: Stomberg (2-1)
Aaland 1-1, R
Fletcher 1-3, RBI, 2B
Dom. Stahley 1-3
LP: Anderson (0-2)
7 IP, 4 K, BB