by Scott DCamp
Northland had to use five pitchers in game one and six pitchers in game two to sweep a non-conference double header against the University of Minnesota Crookston JV.
The teams combined to score 48 runs on 55. Northland held off a seventh inning UMC rally to claim game one 13-10 and the Pioneers rallied from a 12-4 deficit to win game two 13-12.
“Our offense picked up where it left off from Wednesday and a good thing it did,” said Northland Head Coach Barry Dowers. “Eddie Lefrooth followed up his 3-for-3 offensive performance against Central Lakes with a 4-for-4 performance. Eddie has really found his groove, I give him a lot of credit. He works hard and does all the little things we ask of him. I am thrilled to see him having success.
In addition to Lefrooth, the top 4 batters in the Northland lineup all had two hits a piece, including a solo home run from Blake Fetting and a two run shot from Brock Saparto.
Northland plated two runs in the bottom of the first and added runs in the second and third to stake starter Kade Nelson to a 4-0 lead.
Coming off a complete game shutout in his last start, Nelson ran his consecutive scoreless innings streak on the mound to 11 before running into trouble in the fifth inning. UMC batted around in the fifth inning and scored seven runs to take a 7-4 lead.
Northland answered with five runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead 9-7, and answered a UMC run in the sixth with four more runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 13-8 lead.
Lucas Sandsmark picked up the win and Blake Fetting got the final out in the seventh for the save.
The offensive fireworks continued in game two, but it was UMC who got off to the fast start. The Golden Eagles scored 4 runs in the top of the first off of starter Gregory Diaz, scored four more off of relief pitcher Joey Koenig in the third inning and four more off of relief pitcher Daniel Cortes in the fourth.
Forced deep into its bullpen, Northland relievers Lucas Sandsmark, Eddie Lefrooth and Blake Fettig combined to pitch three and two-thirds scoreless innings while the Northland offense reached double-digit scoring totals for the third consecutive game. Lefrooth picked up the win in relief.
Northland trailed 4-1 after one inning and tied the game 4-4 with a three-run second. Trailing 12-4 after three and a half innings of play, Northland cut the UMC lead to one run with a seven-run fourth inning. The Pioneers tied the game in the fifth inning and took a one run lead in the bottom of the sixth. Fettig threw his second perfect seventh inning of the day to pick up his second save of the day.
Josh Arriaga went 4-for-5 and Fetting 3-for-4 with a three-run home run to lead offense. Carlos Turpo, Lefrooth and Fetting all had 3 RBIs and Nelson picked up a two out two RBI single.
r h e
UMC ………………000 071 2 – 10 14 4
NCTC…………….211 054 x – 13 14 4
Pitching – (NCTC) Kade Nelson 4.1 IP, 9 hits, 6 runs, 6 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 1 home run allowed; Daniel Cortes 0 IP, 0 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 2 walks; Lucas Sandsmark – W, 1.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout; Brock Saparto, 1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 3 walks; Blake Fetting – S, .1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 earned runs.
Offensive highlights – (NCTC) Eddie Lefrooth 4/4, triple; Brock Saparto 2/3, home run; Blake Fetting, 2/4 home run.
r h e
UMC ………………404 400 0 – 12 14 0
NCTC…………….130 711 x – 13 13 2
Pitching – (NCTC) Gregory Diaz 0.1 IP, 2 its, 4 runs, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout; Joey Koenig 2.1 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs, 1 strikeout; Daniel Cortes 0.2 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, 1 strikeout, 1 home run allowed; Lucas Sandsmark 0.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout; Eddie Lefrooth – W, 2 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts; Blake Fetting 1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 earned runs, 2 strikeouts.
Offensive highlights – (NCTC) Josh Arriaga 4/5, double, RBI; Eddie Lefrooth, 1/3, double, 3 RBIs; Carlos Turpo 2/3, triple, 3 RBIs; Blake Fetting 3/4, home run, 3 RBIs. Demetree Jest 3 stolen bases.