By Victoria Dahlin
After competing in a tournament and winning a game over Princeton, the North Branch baseball team got its second win of the season when it defeated Columbia Heights.
On April 27 and 28, the Vikings competed in a tournament in Princeton.
The team first faced Princeton and came away with 6-0 for the first victory of the season.
The Vikings had six runs, six hits and one error, while the Tigers had no runs, two hits and two errors.
“(Michael) Naggatz pitched very well and we got the bats started.” said Coach Steve Christensen. “Travis Anderson had his best game going three for four, with a double and runs scored.”
Next up was Grand Rapids and it was close with the team playing tough, but ended with a 5-4 loss.
The Vikings had four runs, seven hits and one error, while the Thunderhawks had five runs, 12 hits and one error.
Lastly the team competed against Monticello and was up by two going into the third inning, but the Magic worked to win 7-3.
The Vikings had three runs, eight hits and five errors, while the Magic had seven runs, 10 hits and two errors.
“We played some really good games, even though we lost two of them,” said Coach Christensen. “We need to keep learning from our mistakes so we don’t repeat them.”
The team traveled to St. Louis Park and fell 9-1 to the Orioles April 30.
Brett Klun had one run and one hit, Thomas Kinsella two hits and Jake Schmitz one RBI (run batted in), while Jake Pilz, Cole Mattson and Cody Knobbe all had one hit.
Blake Jorgensen took the loss facing 15 batters giving up seven runs and five hits; Dylan Kraemer faced 11, giving up one run and three hits; Zach Fairbanks pitched to six and allowed one run and one hit; and Matt Solberg faced three allowing no runs or hits.
North Branch had one run, eight hits and four errors, while St. Louis Park had nine runs, nine hits and no errors.
The Vikings hosted St. Francis May 2 and was defeated 7-2.
Kraemer and Kerry Konrad both had two hits and one RBI, Klun had one run and one hit, while Mattson, Johnson and Travis Moreno each had one hit.
Kinsella pitched to 17 batters, allowing three runs and five hits; Jared Axberg faced nine, giving up one run and one hit; while Matt Solberg faced seven and allowed three runs and five hits.
North Branch had two runs, nine hits and three errors, while St. Francis had seven runs, 12 hits and four errors.
“We were outplayed today,” said Coach Christensen. “Thomas Kinsella started, pitched well, and was relieved by Matt Solberg. St. Francis had a couple big hits, and we went with Jared Axberg on the mound. Axberg threw strikes, and kept the batters off balance. The defense played pretty well behind them. We couldn’t come up with the big hits, and have had opportunities in other games with runners in scoring position but couldn’t get them in.”
Last Thursday the Hylanders were sent back to Columbia Heights with a 10-2 loss, leaving the Vikings with its first conference win of the season.
Travis Anderson had three runs; Josh Benolken and Kraemer one run and one hit; Knobbe two runs, two hits and one RBI; Klun one run, two hits and two RBIs; Johnson and Pilz both had one run, one hit and two RBIs; Solberg had one hit and one RBI; while Mattson, Kinsella and Konrad each had one hit.
Naggatz pitched to 23 batters, allowing two runs and four hits, while Fairbanks faced four giving up no runs or hits.
North Branch had 10 runs, 11 hits and one error, while Columbia Heights had two runs, four hits and five errors.
“We did a lot of things well today, pitching, defense, and hitting were firing on all cylinders,” said Coach Christensen. “We need to keep this momentum going into our upcoming games. Michael Naggatz pitched well again today. After shutting out Princeton, he kept the ball down and our defense helped him through the game. Brett (Klun) hit the ball hard today, driving. With our record sitting at 2-12, we have some catching up to do in our conference and section. We aren’t giving up. We need to stay motivated and keep working hard all the way through playoffs.”
The North Branch baseball team has a 1-8 North Suburban Conference and 2-12 overall record. The team will travel to Columbia Heights to face the Hylanders at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 before hosting the Fridley Tigers at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. The Vikings will then host The Spring Lake Park Panthers at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 14 and the Chisago Lakes Area Wildcats at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16.