By Victoria Dahlin
North Branch lost a heartbreaker to Totino-Grace last week when the Vikings left a game-tying runner on base in the seventh inning.
Hosting the Eagles on April 17, the Vikings were down 1-0 in the first inning but were able to bring in two runners to take a 2-1 lead going into the sixth inning.
The Eagles scored three more runs, while the Vikings scored only one more to lose 4-3 with runners on base.
Michael Naggatz started on the mound for the Vikings, going 5 1/3 innings and faced 26 batters. He allowed four runs and nine hits. Blake Jorgenson faced six batters and did not allow any runs or hits.
North Branch had three runs, five hits and two errors. Totino-Grace had four runs, nine hits and no errors.
“Michael pitched very well,” said Coach Steve Christensen. “He mixed his pitches and hit his locations. I was very pleased with his first varsity start this year. Blake came in and threw strikes. It was a defensive game on both sides as there were only a few strikeouts for both teams. We played a much better ‘all-around’ game today. We’ll need to continue to play games at that level to compete the rest of the season.
“Travis (Anderson) had a great game at the plate, going 2-4 with a double. He keeps getting on base at the top of the order. Cole Mattson scored two runs, batting 1-2. Cole does a good job driving the ball and is a smart baserunner. Brett Klun drove in one run following up an Anderson double with a sharp base hit up the middle. He stole second base, but was out trying to advance to third during Thomas Kinsella’s groundball to short. They made a nice defensive play to get Brett out,” Christensen described.
The North Branch baseball team has a 0-4 North Suburban Conference and 0-6 overall record. The team will compete in a tournament at Princeton beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 27 and at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28. The Vikings will then travel to St. Louis Park to face the Orioles at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, before hosting the St. Francis Fighting Saints at 4:30 p.m Wednesday, May 2.