April 19, 2012 at 8:32 a.m.

Wildcats rally for a late victory over North Branch

Wildcats rally for a late victory over North Branch
Wildcats rally for a late victory over North Branch

Wildcat Brandon Gorski drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the bottom of the sixth and Wildcat pitcher Dylan Magnuson struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh as the Wildcats beat the Vikings 3-2 Tuesday, April 10 at Chisago Lakes. The Vikings failed to take advantage of several scoring opportunities presented to them by some shoddy Wildcat defense. But, North Branch was able to open up a small lead early with the openings that were provided. North Branch’s Travis Anderson led off an inning with a walk and was moved all the way over to third base, where he eventually scored on a wild pitch by Kellen Reed.

Anderson struck later, scoring another run after drawing a second walk. This time, he came home on a Brett Klun single. Klun ended the day with two of North Branch’s four hits. Trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats finally showed off a little bit of their offense. Jake Sandgren pinch hit for Danny Kimlinger to lead off the inning and reached first on a bunt single. Miles Turk singled Sandgren to third and stole second. One out later, Kellen Reed rocketed a double to left center to score both runners and tie the game at 2-2.

With two outs, Brandon Gorski hit a sharp single down the left field line to score Reed with the go-ahead run. Mitch Berg had two hits for the Wildcats, including a double. Reed started for the Wildcats and went five innings, allowing two unearned runs on just one hit while striking out five and walking two. Magnuson pitched the last two innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four and walking none. On the red and white side of things, Anderson had two runs on two walks, Klun went two-for-four and both Jake Pilz and Jake Schmitz picked up hits for the Vikings. On the mound, Kevin Johnson was mostly cruising through the first five innings, but it was that sixth inning that did him in. He went five and a third, giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out five Wildcats and didn’t walk any. Travis Moreno finished the game by getting the last two outs. Johnson was tagged with the loss. “Both of our guys pitched very well,” said Wildcat head coach Pat Collins, “but our defense struggled a lot. To win a game with six errors is pretty lucky, if you ask me.

Gorski certainly came up with a timely hit for us. And the game was close, just like it always seems to be when we play North Branch. It’s always fun to play our closest rival.” “What a good game,” North Branch skipper Steve Christensen said. “Unfortunately, we were on the losing end. We were up 2-0 and CL rattled out some hits to score those three runs. It wasn't the cleanest game defensively, but Kevin Johnson went out and threw strikes, and offensively, we were able to take advantage of some miscues.”


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