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Vikes ride pitching to wins

May 8, 2012
Huntington North High School

Vikes ride pitching to wins

BY AUSTAN KAS akas@h-ponline.com | Monday, May 7, 2012

On a day when its offense was held in check, the Class 4A No. 3 Huntington North baseball team got solid pitching to notch a pair of North Central Conference wins Saturday at New Castle, including a victory over Trey Ball, a University of Texas commit.

The Vikings won the opener, 5-2, and took game two, 4-3.

Starters Trevor Storie and Evan Brown kept their unbeaten seasons in tact, and Braydin Stell nailed down the save in both games. Huntington North’s pitchers walked just two batters in 14 innings.


“These were a couple of great wins for us,” said Huntington North coach Russ Degitz, whose team is 19-1 and 5-0 in the NCC. “Entering conference play, we felt New Castle was a contender, so it was big to get these wins.”

In game two, the Vikings mustered seven hits off Ball (4-2), who is considered to be among the state’s best pitchers — if not the best.

Huntington North scratched out a run in each of the first two frames.

In the first, Kendall Whitman hit a two-out single to rightfield and advanced to second on a passed ball. Brown followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to give Huntington North a 1-0 lead.

Ethan Bartrom ripped a one-out single in the second and stole second base to get in scoring position. Brock Gower brought him in with a single through the right side.

The Vikes tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Mitch Trieglaff led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch. Cody Frazier added an RBI-double, plating Bartrom.

Storie (7-0), Huntington North’s ace, started the game with five scoreless innings, limiting the Trojans to three hits. New Castle scored two in the sixth and knocked Storie out of the game in the seventh, hitting a ball off his leg.

Stell came on in relief and gave up a run as New Castle inched within 4-3. With the tying run at third, Stell recorded a game-ending strikeout to seal the win for the Vikes.

“Ball is a great pitcher,” Degitz said, “and the best we’ve seen this year. Our approach was to create a scoring opportunity each inning. We did a nice job at this with some base runners advancing with aggressiveness and timely hitting to knock them in.

“This is definitely a game,” he added, “we will look back on when the tournament arrives as one that will be how we look to approach each game at that point.”

Storie scattered seven hits and allowed three runs while striking out five in six innings of work. Whitman was the lone Viking with multiple hits, going 2-for-2. Bartrom finished 1-for-2, stole two bases and scored twice.

Brown (5-0) was dominant in game one. He allowed two runs (both unearned), struck out five, surrendered five hits and issued no walks in five innings.

Stell led the Vikings at the plate, finishing 2-for-2 with a double and two runs. On the mound, Stell allowed one hit and whiffed two over the final two innings to record the save.

Bartrom went 1-for-1 with a double, two walks and three runs. Trieglaff added a double and an RBI, and Whitman was 1-for-2 with an RBI.

New Castle (13-7, 2-4) plated two first-inning runs, taking advantage of a Huntington North error.

The Vikings inched within 2-1 on a Whitman bases-loaded walk in the third. In the fourth, Bartrom scored on a wild pitch, and Stell put Huntington North in front with a two-out RBI-double to center.

Trieglaff laced an RBI-double in the fifth, and Stell added a sixth-inning RBI-single to left.

Huntington North hosts Muncie Central at 5 p.m. today. The Vikes begin a home-and-home series with Logansport Tuesday. Huntington North travels to Logansport Tuesday before hosting the Berries Wednesday. The Vikings conclude the week Saturday with a home doubleheader against Richmond.

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