Tuesday’s 11-6 road loss at Rogers was filled with ups and downs, but the Vikings positives outweighed the negatives.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. Ben Huth reached and scored on a Justin Axberg sacrifice fly.
Jake Richards started on the mound for the Vikings, but only lasted into the 3rd inning, giving way to Jordan Axberg.
The Rogers Royals struck back with 1 in the bottom of the 1st, and North Branch countered with 3 in the top of 2nd. Gavyn Jensen-Schneider led off the inning with a walk, followed by a bunt single from Kaleb Bovitz. With runners at first and second, Jordan Axberg sacrifice bunted them up a base. That brought the top of the lineup to the plate in Mason DeFrance. DeFrance scored both Jensen-Schneider and Bovitz on a double down the left field line. DeFrance then scored on a milestone base-hit off the bat of Clint Mattson. With Mattson’s hit, he becomes the school’s career hit record holder (according to most recent and available record books) with his 65th hit.
The Royals came back with two of their own in the bottom of 2 and held the Vikings scoreless in the third and 4th. Rogers continue to score in each following inning as they scored 3 in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th.
In the 5th, Justin Axberg and Zach Gazda reached base on a single and walk, then scored on an RBI double off the bat of Kaleb Bovitz. The Vikings went down in order in the 6th. In the 7th, NB had two runners on with one out, but couldn’t take advantage.
“We’re continuing to improve in all phases of the game. Our walks are down, defense is playing better, and we’re still getting baserunners on. We’ve got a tough opponent coming up in Monticello, and we’re planning to continue our improvements.”
North Branch, now 0-4, will face Monticello at home on 4/18, 4:30 pm at the Varsity Field.