May 4, 2023 at 3:41 p.m.
Vikes’ lineup smashes St. Francis closer for seventh inning comeback
In what had already been a wild, back-and-forth affair between North Branch and St. Francis on Thursday, April 27, the Vikings added a bit of extra flair to the 11-6 win.
Trailing 6-5 going into the top of the seventh inning, the Vikings used a lot of patience to outlast wild St. Francis closer Cooper Fiskewold and his back up Chase Patton and pinned six runs on the pair with only one hit.
Fiskewold was the first on the mound against North Branch in the seventh, and the offense tied the game when they drew four walks from him in only two-thirds of an inning. Patton came in to try and finish the game, but he allowed another walk and then a hit, and after all the dust had settled on walks, wild pitches and hits, the Vikings had scored six runs to take an 11-6 lead that would hold up in the bottom half of the inning.
Carter Drill, Andrew Orf, Tanner Helin, Lucas Goggin Loghan Croal and Sam Robillard all drew walks for NB, with Robillard and Helin earning two free passes each.
The big hits came from Orf and Noah Thorsen, who ended up a combined five for nine with three runs, and three RBIs
Jake Robillard, Croal and Jacob Karnes also picked up hits for NB.
“Andrew Orf and Noah Thorsen combined to have an impressive game on the mound,” Head Coach Matt Solberg said. “The defense had some issues early on in the game, but tightened up as the night progressed.
The offense came alive late in the game when it counted to counter St. Francis who had taken a lead in the bottom of the sixth.”
Leading up to that big explosion in the seventh inning, there were four lead changes in the game and runs scored in six of the first eight frames.
Princeton 14, North Branch 1
Princeton 16, North Branch 5
The win over St. Francis was much needed for the Vikings after they had been outscored 30-6 in a double header against Pricneton on Tuesday, April 25.
The first game was incredibly short as the Tigers scored all 14 of the runs in the first three innings, invoking the mercy rule after five innings. Sam Robillard had one of the Vikings’ two hits — it was a double — and their lone run.
The second half of the double header led to much more offense for the Vikings, but they couldn’t get the big hit when they needed and Princeton just kept pouring the offense on.
The Tigers were up 10-2 after five innings but before they could invoke another mercy rule, the Vikings scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to be trailing 10-5. Princeton answered back with three in the sixth, and then tacked on three more in the seventh inning. Princeton only had three more hits than North Branch, but they drew seven walks to NB’s one. Helin went two-for three for the Vikings with two runs, and Croal went three-for-four with one run. Thorsen went two-for three with an RBI and Joe Donahue was two-for-two and picked up two RBIs.
For Princeton, their nine-one-two hitters combined for what has to be close some sort of record. The trio combined to go 11-for-11 with two walks, 10 runs and four RBIs in an absolutely dominating offensive performance.