Rough streak for Vikings baseball NB boys lose four

Senior Tyler Dolin delivers a pitch during the Viking’s game against Andover on Saturday.  Photo by Kat Ladwig
Senior Tyler Dolin delivers a pitch during the Viking’s game against Andover on Saturday.
Photo by Kat Ladwig

The Vikings baseball team squeezed in four games this last week despite difficult weather conditions but were unable to earn a win.

North Branch hosted Rogers on Monday night and stuck with their opponent throughout much of the game. Both teams were on the board with a run apiece in the third inning, but the Royals stringed together a series of one-run innings late in the game to pull out a 4-1 victory.

Senior Tyler Dolin pitched five innings before junior Nick Pilz took the mound for the final two.

Leading the offense was Pilz at 1-3 with one RBI, while senior Ethan Fairbanks and junior Brandon Steffensen each earned a hit apiece.

The Vikings traveled to Andover on Saturday, May 3, for a triangular with the host team and Duluth East.

North Branch took on Andover in an 11 a.m. matchup and took an early one-run lead in the first inning, then added another run in the top of the second inning to lead 2-0. The Huskies tallied three runs in the bottom of the second inning, then the Vikings responded with two runs of their own in the top of the third to regain the lead at 4-3.

But the Andover offense soon proved too strong. The Huskies produced back-to-back two-run innings and added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to total eight runs.

The Vikings posted two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, but fell just short with an 8-6 loss.

Pilz pitched a complete game, striking out two and giving up 11 hits and three earned runs. The pitcher led the offense at 2-4, earning one stolen base and scoring two runs. Steffensen and junior Michael Hensch both went 1-4 with one RBI.

North Branch faced Duluth East and started strong again with a 3-1 lead at the end of two innings. The Greyhounds continued to build momentum at the plate, however, and capped a steady scoring run with eight runs in the sixth inning to end the game early with a 13-3 win.

Junior Charlie Linder pitched five innings, striking out two batters and walking three. Linder went 2-3 at the plate to lead the Vikings, followed by junior Daniel Scarborough who went 1-3.

On Friday, May 2, North Branch fell 4-1 on the road to St. Michael-Albertville.

Senior Jacob Kari pitched six innings and gave up six hits, struck out five batters while walking two.

The Vikings have a stream a makeup games in the upcoming weeks. They traveled to Monticello on Tuesday, then hosted Big Lake on Wednesday. Next, North Branch hits the road for a 4:30 p.m. matchup on Thursday, May 8, at St. Francis before playing at Cambridge-Isanti at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

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