North Branch baseball still in search of victory

Cole Mattson slides in to score a run in last week's home game against Robbinsdale Cooper. Photo by Victoria Dahlin.

By Victoria Dahlin

Two more were added to the North Branch baseball team’s loss column last week after it faced Irondale and Robbinsdale Cooper.

On April 23 the team made the trip to New Brighton to face #17 state ranked Irondale and lost 4-1.

Cole Mattson had one run and two hits, Kevin Johnson two hits and Cody Knobbe one hit.

Johnson pitched to 24 batters, allowing four runs and six hits, while Dylan Kraemer faced three batters and allowed no runs or hits.

The Vikings had one run, five hits and three errors, while the Knights had four runs, six hits and no error.

“Kevin had an all-around good game today,” said Coach Steve Christensen. “He pitched well. There were some base running gaffes that didn’t help out our situation today. In the end, it isn’t usually one play at the end of the game that gives you the win or loss. Typically there’s opportunities earlier in the game that get you to that point.”

The team then hosted and lost 5-4 to the Robbinsdale Cooper April 24.

Jake Pilz had one run and one hit, while Brett Klun, Thomas Kinsella and Kerry Konrad all had one hit and one run batted in. Travis Anderson and Johnson each made one hit, while Ethan Fairbanks, Kraemer and Mattson each got a run.

Zach Fairbanks faced six batters allowing no hits or runs, while Jared Axberg faced 10 and allowed no hits or runs. Blake Jorgenson faced 19 batters and allowed five runs and eight hits.

The Vikings had four runs, six hits and three errors, while the Hawks had five runs, eight hits and two errors.

“We came up short again today,” said Coach Christensen. “We’re so close, can’t seem to get the big hit. We were down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, and had the top of the lineup batting. A couple batters were down to the last strike and came up big with hits. Senior captains Brett Klun and Thomas Kinsella were both stuck at two strikes and got on base. Klun beat out an infield single, and Thomas had a base hit. Cole Mattson ended the game in a good at bat of his own, but fell victim to a strikeout. We’re playing a more complete game, however, we need to hit better with runners in scoring position.”

The North Branch baseball team has a 0-6 North Suburban Conference and 0-8 overall record. The team will host the St. Francis Fighting Saints at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 before hosting the Columbia Heights Hylanders at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, May 3. The Vikings will then travel to Fridley to face the Tigers at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 7 before traveling to Columbia Heights to face the Hylanders at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.

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