Prep Baseball: Vikings rally to force Game 3 against PopeBy CARLTON D. WHITE
Marietta Daily Journal
MARIETTA — Facing elimination, Northgate and senior pitcher Ty Alvey weren’t about to have their season end.
After dropping the first game of a second-round Class AAAA playoff with Pope and trailing 4-0 in game two, the Vikings found a way to force a decisive third game today in the best-of-three series.
Game Three is today at 5 p.m., again at Pope High School.
Northgate scored two in the fourth and two more in the bottom of the sixth to tie. Two errors in the bottom of the seventh helped lead to the game-winning run in the nightcap.
Alvey finished with 12 strikeouts and held Pope to three hits to earn the complete-game victory.
“Their pitcher did a heck of a job,” Pope coach Jeff rowland said. “He found the strikezone and we couldn’t get at him. We were sloppy defensively and didn’t play good enough defense to help out Joseph. I thought he pitched a good game, and we didn’t give him any offensive support.”
The Vikings crawled back to within two run in the fourth behind Jake Hundley’s RBI groundout and Jesse Copeland’s two-out, RBI single that trimmed the deficit to 4-2.
Cody Bevil’s clutch two-out, 2-RBI single tied the game in the sixth. Tyler Bowers reached base on a two-out error in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Hundley to score the winning run.
Clay Thomas, Bevil and Copeland each had two hits for Northgate (17-13) in the second game.
Pope’s Joseph Wiseman gave up four unearned runs on nine hits and struck out six in six innings to earn the no-decision in Game 2.
“It was like two totaling different games,” Rowland said. “We got up on them early and, I don’t know, maybe we got too comfortable. They got some life when they scored those runs in the fourth and kept battling. I tip my hat off to them.
“We survived to fight again (today), but we let (the second game) slip through our fingers.”
Game One saw Pope pound out 14 hits, including five that went for extra bases,
The Vikings rallied off three hits and two walks to take a 3-2 lead in the third. Bowers singled and later scored on Bevil’s two-out single. Back-to-back walks led to Spencer Perry’s two-out, 2-RBI double to give Northgate the 1-run advantage.
Pope sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run third inning to take the lead for good. Keel’s 2-run homer put the Greyhounds in front 4-3. Wiseman, who was 1-for-4 and scored a run, hit a two-RBI double and Skruck, who batted 3-for-3 and scored, added a RBI double as well. Harrison Siegel’s RBI groundout off reliever Matt Farmakis plated the final run as the Greyhounds led 8-3.
Perry, who was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Jake Hundley each singled home a run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 8-5.
Robert Massenburg suffered the loss for Northgate after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in two innings.