High School Baseball
Northgate ends first week of season with win over Sandy Creek
by Doug Gorman
The Northgate Vikings had an early-morning wake-up call on Saturday, but it didn’t stop them from rolling past Sandy Creek 13-2 in a non-region contest in a game called in the fifth by the 10-run mercy rule.
Northgate was scheduled to entertain the Patriots Friday night, but wet field conditions forced the game to be rescheduled for Saturday morning.
The 10 a.m. start didn’t slow down Northgate’s offense.
The Vikings outhit the Patriots 10-4 and also took advantage of four Sandy Creek errors.
Sandy Creek also hit five batters, with four eventually crossing the plate for Northgate runs.
Despite the win, Northgate head coach Greg Hamilton knows there are still areas where the team needs to improve.
“We are hitting the ball well,” he said, “We had 13 or 14 against East Coweta and 10 today, so that’s not a problem. It’s pitching. There are too many 3-2 counts. We had 103 pitches in five innings today. We are still having too many walks and hit batsman.”
Northgate spotted Sandy Creek a 2-1 lead in the second inning, but the Vikings began their offensive explosion in the bottom half of the inning.
The Vikings scored nine times in the inning and sent 14 batters to the plate.
Armond Upshaw, Jonathan Hamilton and James Poropatic each doubled and finished with 2 RBIs.
Starting pitcher Connor Wilson was hit twice in the inning and scored both times.
It included being plunked a second time with the bases loaded, allowing Upshaw to score during the extended nine-run rally.
Northgate extended the lead to 12-2 the bottom of the third when Chase Allen and Jordan Schmits both singled and later scored.
Wilson worked his way on base for the third time in the game when he advanced to first on an error by the second baseman. He eventually scored the final run of the game when he crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Everyone of Northgate’s starters reached base and scored at least one on the Vikings’ runs to help them notch their first win after starting the season with losses against Troup and East Coweta.
Northgate built a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Poropatic was hit by a pitch to start the game and scored on a fielder’s choice from Chase Allen.
Sandy Creek added its only two runs of the contest in the top of the second when Preston McDuffie was hit by a pitch and later scored on a passed ball.
Bob Weinhardt walked and scored the Patriots final run of the game on Anthony Dodd’s single.
Northgate used four pitchers en route to the win.
After Wilson pitched the first three innings, recording a strikeout in the first and second, Blake Whitney struck out the side in the fourth.
Miles McDevitt and Chad Green pitched in the fifth inning, each recording a strikeout apiece.
VIKINGS 13, PATRIOTS 2
Sandy Creek 020 0—2 4 4
Northgate 193 X—13 10 0
WP Conner Wilson
LP Rodney Randers