A tough week for North Branch baseball

By Victoria Dahlin

It was a busy week for the Viking baseball team with four games played and, unfortunately, lost last week.

Viking catcher Travis Moreno scored one run in the game against Duluth East last Saturday. Photo by Victoria Dahlin

On April 10, the team hosted and lost 3-2 to Chisago Lakes Area.

Kevin Johnson faced 22 batters and allowed five hits for three runs.

Travis Moreno pitched against three batters and allowed no hits.

North Branch had two runs, five hits, three errors, while Chisago Lakes Area had three runs, five hits and three errors.

“What a good game,” said Coach Steve Christensen. “Unfortunately, we were on the losing end. We were up 2-0 going into the sixth, and CL rattled out some hits to score three runs. It wasn’t the cleanest game defensively, but Kevin Johnson went out and threw strikes. Offensively, we were able to take advantage of some miscues.”

Close game ends in loss

The North Branch baseball team hosted and fell 9-7 to Spring Lake Park last Thursday.

Michael Naggatz pitched against five batters and allowed one hit, and Blake Jorgenson faced 26 batters and allowed four hits for nine runs.

North Branch had seven runs, nine hits and four errors, while Spring Lake Park had nine runs, five hits and no errors.

“We got down early in the first inning, trying to fight back,” said Coach Christensen. “We had it at 6-5 after a wonderful third inning where we had five runs using four doubles. We’ve finally started to hit the ball. Blake Jorgenson made his varsity debut on the mound. Blake threw well at times. He really had confidence in the middle innings.

Christensen noted the solid effort was not enough to get over the hump and record a win, though.

In the end, we had more opportunities to tie or take the lead but let them slip through our grasp.”

The Vikings hosted a double header last Saturday.

Duluth teams dominate Vikings

North Branch lost its first game against Duluth East 8-3.

Zach Fairbanks faced four batters and allowed one run and one hit, Thomas Kinsella faced 28 batters and allowed six runs and nine hits, and Johnson faced six batters, with one run scored.

North Branch had three runs, five hits and five errors, while Duluth East had eight runs, 10 hits and two errors.

“You could sense it was going to be a close game, then the wheels came off,” said Coach Christensen.

Duluth Denfeld then overcame the team 10-2.

Johnson pitched to 29 batters, allowing four runs and three hits, Moreno faced 29 batters allowing three runs and six hits and Dylan Kraemer faced three allowing three runs and four hits.

North Branch had two runs, seven hits and three errors, while Duluth Denfeld had 10 runs, 13 hits and no errors.

“Three runs in the first put us in the hole again,” said Coach Steve Christensen.

The NB baseball team has a 0-3 North Suburban Conference and 0-5 overall record. The Vikings will travel to Irondale High School in New Brighton to face the Knights at 4:30 p.m. April 23 before hosting the Robbinsdale Cooper Hawks at 4:30 p.m. April 24.

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