By Victoria Dahlin
The season did not start well for the Vikings when they traveled to Benilde-St. Margaret’s last Thursday and were shutout 12-0 by the Red Knights.
The Vikings’ only hit was by Travis Moreno who reached first base on a fielding error. He then stole second but was left stranded.
Thomas Kinsella started out on the mound for North Branch and got into trouble in the first inning, allowing Benilde-St. Margaret’s to score three runs.
The Vikings saw the minimum number of batters in the second inning, while the Red Knights added six more runs increasing their lead to nine.
The Red Knights had three more runners cross home plate in the third inning, but were shutout in the fourth due to the combined efforts of pitchers Kevin Johnson and Dylan Kraemer. The game ended after four and one half innings due to the 10 run mercy rule.
Kinsella faced 20 batters and allowed 10 hits for nine runs, with seven earned. Johnson faced one batter and allowed no hits, while Kraemer faced 11 and allowed one hit for three earned runs.
“We gave up some hits, but we didn’t help ourselves out too much defensively,” said Coach Steve Christensen. “Thomas threw a lot of strikes and had some great battles with some of the hitters. When we got the ground balls we needed, we weren’t able to get the outs. We’ll need to improve on all facets of our game, I think that showed. The guys know what they need to do, and we’ll work harder to improve our skills.”
The North Branch baseball team will travel to Spring Lake Park to face the Panthers at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12, before hosting a double header Saturday, April 14 when they will first face the Duluth East Greyhounds at 11 a.m. and then the Duluth Denfeld Hunters at 1:30 p.m. The Vikings will host Totino-Grace at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.