by Gary Andrews
The Northfield and Southwood baseball teams were both at the top of the TRC standings, so Monday’s match up was a critical game for each team in their hopes of winning the conference. In a game that shifted momentum several times the Norse held off the Knights 6-5.
Southwood threatened in the top of the first when Jackson Blair led off the game drawing a walk. Blair was bunted to second by Nathan Hollars before a line drive to shortstop Adam Roser made it two outs. Christian Deeter then drew the second walk of the inning, but Norse pitcher Shane Vigar recorded a strike out to end the threat. Southwood pitcher Clay Hinrichsen shut down the Norse in order in the first.
The Knights would threaten again in the second, loading the bases with no outs. Brandin Frazier walked and was followed by an Aaron Kelly single. Zach Ball would then lay down a perfect bunt to load the bases before Vigar settled down, forcing a pop up before striking out the next two. Again Hinrichsen set the Norse down in order as the game headed for the third with no score.
Christian Deeter would break the ice in the third. With one out Deeter hit a shot over the left center fence to put Southwood up 1-0. Jacob Lloyd hit a one out single and with two outs Kelly reached on a Norse error, but one run was all the Knights could manufacture. The Norse answered in a big way in the bottom of the inning. With one out Brad Bever singled and was followed by a Dylan Brown walk. Adam Roser was then hit by a pitch to load the bases when Bryce Kendall singled home Bever to tie the score, with Brown scoring on a throwing error for a 2-1 lead. Drake Richter then hit an rbi fly ball to increase the Norse lead to 3-1 before Shane Vigar singled home the fourth to make it 4-1 after three.
Each pitcher would record two strike outs in the fourth as neither team put a runner on base as the game headed for the fifth, still 4-1.
The Knights would even the score in the top of the fifth. Robbie Cole drew a walk and was followed by Christian Deeter being hit by a pitch. Jacob Lloyd would then make things all square with a towering shot over the left field monster to make it 4-4. Vigar would get out of the inning, giving up a single to Ball without another run. After losing their lead the Norse would get it back in the bottom of the inning. Brad Bever would get things going with a single. With one out Adam Roser singled before a Hinrichsen strike out made it two outs. Drake Richter would then hit a gapper to left center that scored Bever and Roser for a 6-4 lead.
The Knights would cut the two run lead in half in the sixth. With two outs Robbie Cole ripped a shot down the left field line for a double and was followed by Christian Deeter reaching on an error with Cole scoring to make it 6-5. The Norse went three up and three down in the bottom of the inning and the Knights had one more shot.
Remington Monce took the mound for the Norse in the seventh, walking the first batter he faced in Brandin Frazier. Monce would get a pop up before giving up a single to Zach Ball to put runners on first and second. A fly to shallow center made it two outs before Monce recorded a strike out to end the game.