by Gary Andrews
In their first season of playing up a class because of the success factor, the Northfield baseball is one win away from a sectional championship in 3A. After out lasting Eastbrook on Thursday the Norse rode the bat if Bryce Kendall in a 4-3 win over Columbia City Saturday to move to the championship game Monday against Norwell, who defeated Heritage 6-4.
The Norse had Shane Vigar on the mound, who held Columbia City to just one hit the first two innings while the Norse threatened to score both innings without a run.
In the bottom of the first Adam Roser reached on an error but was picked off first for the first out. Bryce Kendall then tripled and he was picked off third before a Drake Richter single. Shane Vigar then hit a line drive out.
In the second Nate Hembree singled with one out with Joseph Mitchell following reaching on a fielders choice. Mitchell would advance to second on a passed ball when Brad Bever singled to put runners on the corners, but again the Norse couldn’t score.
In the top of the third the Eagles got a single and a double to take a 1-0 lead, but as in the Eastbrook game the Norse had an answer in the bottom of the inning. With one out Bryce Kendall would hit a shot over the center field fence to knot the score at 1. Drake Richter would then single, followed by Shane Vigar being hit by a pitch, but a strike out and a fly out ended the inning.
The fourth inning was when the Norse made some major noise. With one out Brad Bever drew a walk, then with two outs Adam Roser singled. Again, for the second time Bryce Kendall smoked a shot over the center field fence, this time a three run dinger to give the Norse a 4-1 lead. Drake Richter singled after the Kendall homer, but three was all they would get an led 4-1 after four.
There would be one hit combined the next two innings by the two teams heading to the 7th when Columbia City gave the Norse a scare. With one out a Norse error would put an Eagle runner on second. A ground ball to Roser at short made it two outs with the runner advancing to third when a single made it 4-2. One batter later a double drove in another run to make it 4-3 with the tying run on second. The next hitter hit a shot to right field with Dylan Brown making a diving catch for the third out to end the game, 4-3.